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The yo-yo BFA, First Division case

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
In circles: The dispute between BFA and First Division North members remains unsettled PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
As the local football fraternity grapples with the thirst for action, drama is galore off the field.

At the centre of an oscillating fracas is the case between the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the suspended First Division North (FDN) committee.

The committee members are accused of misappropriating nearly P70,000, an allegation the mother body made two years ago.

While the committee was suspended two years ago, there has been little movement in their case until recently.

On Monday the matter took another turn when the BFA Appeals Committee overturned the Disciplinary Committee (DC) chairperson’s ruling, which meant the members are now back in suspension.

They had won the previous two rounds, which saw their suspension temporarily lifted. The DC chairperson, Martin Dingake had initially ruled that the FDN committee members be reinstated into office because of delayed justice. This was after the committee’s suspension without any hearing in two years.

Fearing that there was no progress in the matter since their suspension in 2018, the FDN committee members approached the DC in February this year requesting that their suspension be thrown out of the window.

Their argument was that the association had failed to make a follow up and accord them a hearing for almost two years. They said this has denied them a chance to perform their mandate after being voted into office although no charges have been brought before them.

Dingake, as the chairperson of the DC then, ruled in their favour and ordered their immediate return to office. However, the BFA was not going to give up without a fight and appealed the ruling.

Arguments

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placed forward were that the DC chairperson had no jurisdiction to hear and determine a dispute between the association and its officials.

The association also argued that the period of bringing disciplinary processes was limitless and that the chairperson erred in failing to consider the committee members’ admission of guilt.

Making a ruling on Monday, the Appeals Committee stated the DC chairperson erred in hearing and determining the matter alone without the input of the other members of the DC.

The Appeals Committee also referred the matter back to the DC and ordered that the suspended members remain on the sidelines while awaiting a determination by a fully-fledged DC on the never-ending dispute.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport on Wednesday, one of the suspended members, Mpenzeni Sambandawe who is the chairperson of the committee, said they have no issue with the ruling.

“At the end of the day, we want justice to prevail, whichever way, we do not have a problem,” he said. Sambandawe also said the reason they approached the DC in the first place was for the matter to be dealt with.

He said they are now waiting for communication from the DC on the date for the matter to be heard. Sambandawe said he was hopeful that it would take place as soon as possible because of its urgency.

He said it was important that the matter is heard soon because of the activities currently ongoing with regard to preparations for the upcoming BFA general assembly.



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