Connect with us

Sports

IT IS FRAUD

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

Sports

Free at last

Published

on

Gaborone United Football Club has finally handed Township Rollers the release letter of its (Rollers) Head coach, Rodolfo Zapata, Sun Sports can confirm.

Since Zapata’s appointment as Rollers head coach last month, he is yet to sit on the bench. GU has been holding tight to Zapata’s work permits that he dumped early this year for a job in Kenya. He then resurfaced last month as Rollers coach but things have been stagnant with Zapata not able to coach as he had an active work permit that needed to be cancelled.

This week, both GU Chairman Boitumelo Nsunge and Zapata confirmed that there has been an exchange of the letter. “Yes we have given him the release letter and agreed to cancel his work permit with GU,” Nsunge said.

The GU chairman however noted that they are still to discuss the alleged debt saying they have asked Zapata to furnish them with prove that indeed they owe him money over P300 000. The news will see Rollers management breath a sigh of relief as they have been trying for several weeks now, to work on the GU Zapata saga.

This publication has been reliably informed that the president of Rollers, Jagdish Shah was running out of ideas and was bound to make a decision regarding the matter some time last week. Actually speculations have been rife that Zapata would soon be replaced before he even starts official work at Rollers.

However as it stands now, anytime is teatime. Rollers is eagerly waiting on the Department of Immigration to process Zapata’s work permit with Rollers. It is not clear if the work permit will be available latest today, which will see Zapata on the bench tonight when they play Notwane Football Club, or the Argentine will have to wait for the year 2019 to start his duties.

Continue Reading

Sports

Olopeng’s last answer as sports minister

Published

on

Before vacating his office at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Minister Thapelo Olopeng was confronted with one last controversial question from MP for Francistown Buti Billy last week.

The MP asked about an update on the commercialisation of sport. The issue has been a hot potato since the Botswana National Sports Commission Act was amended in order to professionalise local sports. However, the process has proven to be an uphill battle. The following is an excerpt from the Parliament Hansard in which the former sports minister responded to the question.
Buti Billy (Francistown East): Asked the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to update this Honourable House on how he is commercialising sport and if there is any strategy in place to carry out that mandate.

Thapelo Olopeng: Thank you very much Mr Speaker. The transition from Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) to the Commission in 2014 was the first step towards professionalisation of sport in terms of setting up structures. Sport is at different levels of commercialisation in the different sport codes depending on the level of professionalism. We have a number of teams or codes which are already at semi-professional.

In football, several clubs have their players contracted and remunerated as per signed contracts. Sport also sells broadcast rights to generate revenue. Merchandising is another way that sport has commercialised. There has been establishment of local companies that manufacture sport apparel, and these have grown in popularity over the years. We have also witnessed sport such as Boxing, Athletics, and Golf, to name but a few. We witnessed them professionalise their operations and more are expected to follow. In some of the sport codes, individual sportsmen and women play professional sport internationally.

Mr Speaker, the Botswana National Sport Commission Strategy 2028, which commenced in January 2013, is an overarching strategy towards professionalising of sport, and thus commercialisation. The strategy seeks to promote sport excellence and enhance the contribution of sport to the economy. Billy: Supplementary. Ke a leboga Tona. Fa re lebeletse sports in general; all sports codes, a Minister o itumelela gore he had created employment jaaka a bua gore other sports codes di setse di simolotse go dirwa commercial? (Looking at all sport codes in general, is the Minister of sports happy he has created employment as he says with other sport codes becoming commercial)?

Olopeng: Thank you very much Mr Speaker. Thank you very much Honourable Member. Mr Speaker, my answer to that is yes, because just as at Premier League in soccer, we have 16 teams and every player within these 16 teams is on a payroll; they are paid by those individual clubs, that is creation of employment. We have our international athletes, those who participate outside the country at different events; they are paid.

We have other players, our athletes in football, netball and those who are hired by teams outside Botswana, I can just give example of teams in South Africa which have hired our players right here from Botswana and those young boys are paid by these particular teams. We have not reached where we want to reach, that is the reason why we are still developing our strategy of 2028 with Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to make sure that we turn sports into an industry.

Continue Reading

Trending