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IT IS FRAUD

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The case in which suspended premier league CEO Bennett Mamelodi is challenging Botswana Premier League Chairman Rapula Okaile’s authority to suspend and call him for a disciplinary hearing got off to a false start for the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the BPL when both parties were accused of lying to the court under oath.

The case that began on Monday at the Industrial Court was thus adjourned and will now be heard again on August 23 to allow lawyers representing the two football bodies to come back with authentic authority to the court, where they seek to show that they indeed have powers to take any form of disciplinary action against the CEO.

Mamelodi’s lawyer Dutch Leburu poked holes in the affidavits deposed by the Okaile team, saying they contained fraudulent information that cannot be accepted as the truth in the case before Justice Paper Molomo. In the urgent application that sought to interdict Okaile’s move to call the CEO for a disciplinary hearing, Leburu’s camp argued that the acting BPL Board chairman on his own had no authority to discipline Mamelodi. In his answering affidavit, Okaile argued that he indeed had the powers as he had been delegated such by the BFA president Tebogo Sebego. When the CEO’s camp responded that Sebego on his own also had no such powers to authorize, Okaile argued back in his second affidavit that the powers were indeed delegated by the BFA National Executive Committee that gave Sebego authority to endorse his decision to discipline Mamelodi. 

To this end, Leburu sought to be provided with the minutes of the BFA NEC meeting where Sebego was given such authority to endorse Okaile’s action against Mamelodi. It was then that Okaile’s lawyer Mpho Gaobakwe conceded that no such meeting was ever held and that the minutes were therefore unavailable. Leburu then brought the attention of the court to the fact that Sebego had appended his signature on the Delegation of Authority document that implied that he had been authorized by the BFA NEC to allow the case against Mamelodi to continue. This, Leburu argued, was a deliberate act of fraud meant to mislead the court, and therefore called for attendant legal action to be taken against both Okaile and Sebego.

However, that demand by Leburu was thwarted when Okaile’s camp requested leave to withdraw the two affidavits, including the related attachments, so as to go and regroup and file afresh. On the premise that the Industrial Court is a court of equity, Justice Molomo granted the Okaile camp leave to withdraw the affidavits, but instructed them to have regularized their affidavits for re-filing on July 8 this year. Effectively, this means that if the BPL board still wants to proceed with disciplinary action against Mamelodi, it has to again seek authority from the BFA NEC which also has to meet and resolve to endorse any such decision by the league board to take action against the CEO.

CHRONOLOGY: On March 26, Okaile suspended the premier league CEO by phone and on March 29 the CEO was served with a suspension letter by a deputy sheriff. He was accused for misappropriating funds that amounted to over P6 million among other transgressions. On April 25, the suspended CEO filed an application with the High Court to declare his suspension unlawful. On May 9 however, the BPL Board chairperson Okaile summoned the CEO for a disciplinary hearing where he was slapped with about seven charges.

The hearing was set for May 12 but on that day, Mamelodi’s lawyers interdicted the hearing at the Industrial Court and the matter was set for this past Monday for the opposing parties to present their arguments. It was then that the affidavits deposed by Okaile and the Delegation of Authority signed by Sebego were deemed to be fallacious.  In the meantime, the order that Okaile cannot call Mamelodi for a disciplinary hearing still stands, but Mamelodi continues to enjoy his salary without doing a thing for the league as he remains suspended. The matter resumes for hearing on August 23.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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