BFA avoids near ‘fatal’ mistake

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• BFA nearly defied a court order, hearing was already set in motion on Tuesday despite the order 
• DC hearing panel served with the court order while awaiting Mamelodi 
• Mamelodi’s dismissal letter has already been drafted – source

BONGANI MALUNGA 

The Botswana Football Association survived a last minute error as they almost proceeded with a disciplinary hearing against suspended Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer Bennett Mamelodi despite being given a court order to cease from doing so for the next two weeks.

A hearing was already set in motion at Falcon Crest on Tuesday according to a well placed source, just a day after Judge Singh Walia had instructed the BFA to furnish the court with more documents to support their case before summoning Mamelodi to a disciplinary hearing. “The association continued their plans with the Tuesday hearing despite the provisions of the court order having not been fulfilled, which constitutes contempt of court,” the source told this reporter.

Defying a court order is widely viewed as contempt of court and could have carried a possible jail sentence, a fine or both for those who had instructed the hearing to proceed.

Gazette Sport has been informed that there was a panel of the Disciplinary Committee made up of three individuals plus a BFA complainant, reportedly Clifford Mogomotsi awaiting Mamelodi’s arrival at Falcon Crest. A source from the Mamelodi camp has questioned the appearance of Mogomotsi as the BFA’s official complainant in the absence of a formal BFA employee “who would have been better suited for the role.”

However, they (the panel) had no choice but to disperse after Mamelodi’s camp served them with the court order. Some officials from the BFA had claimed to have no knowledge of the court order on Tuesday when quizzed by the media, but this publication received additional information that a message from a top BFA official circulated in the early hours of Tuesday morning stating the following, “Please be informed that following the court ruling of today the hearing will continue as planned tomorrow at 10am at Falcon Crest.”

The said message, although unconfirmed, reportedly showed that the BFA were indeed aware of the court ruling but tried to squeeze the hearing in order to speed up their plans to fire Mamelodi, a claim denied by the BFA when reached for comment.

It is believed that the association has already made up their minds to fire Mamelodi and that the hearing is just a formality as the CEO’s dismissal letter has already been drafted and ready to be handed to him once the hearing is completed.

Although the BFA has taken it upon themselves to handle Mamelodi’s case, the BPL Board of Directors, Mamelodi’s employers, are reportedly distancing itself from the forensic audit. They reportedly convened on Friday and unanimously agreed to distance themselves from the report.

According to another source, the BPL Board is yet to be furnished with the documents as well.  Another source in Lekidi has claimed that the association might proceed with a disciplinary hearing this Wednesday.  The National Executive Committee has reportedly not convened this year, raising questions of who has been pulling the strings in the pursuit to fire Mamelodi. Despite numerous reports of a ‘witch-hunt’ the association has maintained that they have followed the correct procedure in their pursuit of justice.

 

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