High Court to hear Vikings' appeal today

BSA president Thabo Thamane
BSA president Thabo Thamane

The High Court in Lobatse will hear Vikings Softball Club appeal to today, Friday, where the club is challenging its exclusion from the 2019 Phikwe Softball Extravaganza. The matter was supposed to have been heard on Wednesday, but was postponed to today.

The respondent in the matter is Botswana Softball Association (BSA), which disallowed Vikings from registering for the annual tournament, citing failure to act within the stipulated time.  The tournament would be held over the President’s Day holiday. BSA attorney, Itseng Mothibamele of Bogopa, Manewe Attorneys confirmed to Mmegi Sport that the matter would be heard on Friday, with the judgement expected on the same day. “The judgement would be passed the same day. I advised the judge that the matter has an impact on sport calendar because the knock out stages should be held soon. It seems he listened to me, that is why the matter is being held sooner,” Mothibamele said.  Vikings is represented by Shara Moncho of Moncho wa Moncho Attorneys.

Mothibamele added the case documents were delivered in Lobatse from Gaborone late and the Judge did not have sufficient time to peruse them.  The rift started when the BSA Southern Zone committee blocked Vikings from registering for the extravaganza eliminations. The club approached the executive committee to reverse the decision.

“Vikings argued that the notice from the Zone had stated that registration would be during the annual general meeting from 9am-10am and the notice did state that after 10am it would be closed,” reads part of the Vikings appeal minutes. Vikings chairperson, Eng Mpotokwane who was representing Vikings, submitted during the hearing that she arrived 15 minutes late and was denied to register by the treasurer. She condemned the decision by the Zone for setting a registration period of one hour instead of the normal three days. Clubs that had not registered were Vikings and Eagles for women and Stringers, Eagles, Gideon and Vikings in the men’s section.

“The Zone argued that Gatalamotho had sent an apology and sent registration fee to treasurer’s account within the stipulated time and Dinare had asked the treasurer to use her money to pay for Dinare,” the minutes further read. The executive committee, represented by Olga Khumoetsile, Anastacia Makwa and Molekane Bokhutlo, said Vikings had contended that other teams had registered electronically.

“In determining this issue, the question would be, what entails registration? Does it mean that the person should be there physically to register? Or it is a form of payment? Or whichever way registration could be done for as long as it is done within stipulated time.”

The committee accused Vikings of failing to make an effort to register. “On that note, they (Vikings) cannot be compared with other two clubs, Gatalamotho and Dinare who were able to act,” the committee stated before dismissing the appeal. In the meantime, the Southern eliminations have been put on hold pending the court’s decision.

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