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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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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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