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Suspended FDN members demand justice

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
In a limbo: Suspended FDN members, Rapula Gaothobogwe (left) and Sambandawe want justice PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
The suspended members of the Debswana First Division North committee are demanding a quick conclusion to their case, which has been dragging on for two years.

They were slapped with indefinite suspension pending a disciplinary hearing by the mother body, Botswana Football Association (BFA) in 2018 over allegations that they embezzled P168,000 belonging to the association. But the accused members deny the charge.

The committee members have been on suspension for two years without any hearing. They are now demanding the BFA Disciplinary Committee (DC) to throw out the case due to time lapses.  The matter was heard on Tuesday, where the suspended members expressed their irritation at the delays in dealing with the matter. They want the matter to be set aside as ‘justice delayed is justice denied’.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, suspended chairperson, Mpezeni Sambandawe said even their letters clearly stated that they were suspended pending a hearing, therefore it is injustice to be holding suspension letters without a hearing.

“You should remember that issues like that would go for a hearing after which a decision is taken. That decision will then go to the general assembly for ratification. But this one has been dragging on for two years without

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any hearing carried out,” Sambandawe said.

“Already there have been two general assemblies held since our suspension on top of other special assemblies. Our argument therefore is that this suspension be thrown out because of the time factor.” He said they still maintain that their suspension was politically motivated.

The committee’s urgent application comes at a time when the BFA is preparing for elections.

There have been allegations that the suspended members were seen as allies to the BFA faction that lost elections in 2016. 

It is alleged that the BFA leadership wants to keep them on the sidelines to ensure that they do not play any role in the forthcoming election.  The suspension would automatically close the committee members out of the upcoming elections hence they are now challenging the prolonged wait.

The DC has promised to deliver its verdict in the coming days, Sambadawe said. Nominations for the August 8, 2020 BFA elections remain open until June 19.

BFA chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo said he could not comment on the matter, as it was sub-judice.



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