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Mamelodi loses case against BFA

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Mamelodi
Justice Godfrey Radijeng of the Gaborone High Court yesterday dismissed an application, with costs, in which former Botswana Premier League (BPL) chief executive officer (CEO), Bennett Mamelodi was challenging the findings of a forensic audit.

South African firm, ADM Financial Forensic Services, at the instruction of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) carried out a forensic audit into the affairs of the BPL.

Mamelodi was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing last year and was subsequently dismissed over allegations of maladministration.

BFA had commissioned the audit report, for the purposes of instituting disciplinary proceedings against Mamelodi last year. However, through his lawyer, Dutch Leburu, Mamelodi then moved an urgent application seeking the court to stop the disciplinary hearing pending the determination of amongst other things, whether the forensic audit carried out by ADM was lawful or not.

He wanted the court to set aside the audit report and declare the decisions by the BFA as illegal and unlawful since they are based on the report. However, the application was dismissed and the BFA terminated his employment on notice thereafter.

In the current application, Mamelodi through his lawyers, maintained that the forensic audit was unlawful and has to be set aside. They argued that the decision by the BFA to charge him and later relieve him of his duties, was based on the report which they deem unlawful.

They also argued that the audit report upon which the charges were

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framed from was not adopted by the BFA national executive committee (NEC) or the General Assembly. His view was therefore that since the report had not been adopted, the BFA could not frame charges against him based on that document. Amongst other things, the report accused Mamelodi of fraud, maladministration and theft.

In his ruling yesterday, Justice Radijeng said the termination of Mamelodi’s employment on notice has nullified all the charges that were laid against him. He said no disciplinary hearing can be held in the circumstances.

“Further in my view, the applicant (Mamelodi) has not placed sufficient basis for the finding of the forensic audit report to be unlawful except in the context of the averment that it was not adopted by NEC or general assembly. I would not conclude that this would present or cause the audit report to be unlawful and invalid as contended by the applicant,” he said.

He said that to continue to address the question of whether Mamelodi had the right to be heard before the audit report was concluded would just be an academic exercise, without practical effect.

He therefore dismissed the application with costs. Mamelodi is expected to lodge an appeal.

 



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