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Mamelodi loses BFA battle

Publishing Date : 10 September, 2018


Former Premier League Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bennett Mamelodi has lost a long standing legal battle against past employers Botswana Football Association (BFA), where he fought for what he termed unfair dismissal. The football association dismissed the former sports consultant almost two years ago, leaning heavily on the forensic audit report conducted few months after he was suspended.

Mamelodi through his lawyer argued at length that the same audit report was not authentic, and it was unfair for it to be used to determine his future at Lekidi Football Center. Mamelodi prayed before the high court that the forensic report be set aside more because he was not even subjected to a disciplinary hearing. Moreover, Mamelodi who is the young brother to Ashford Mamelodi, argued that forensic report upon which the alleged charges were framed or constituted was in fact not adopted by the Executive Committee or the General Committee of the BFA.

It was the view of Mamelodi that, given the issues of adoption by the executive committee, the BFA could have not charged him on the basis of a document that had not been formally adopted.  As if it was not enough, Mamelodi also challenged the forensic report as premised on draft financial regulations of BFA that he contented throughout that were never adopted. His desperate cry was that the forensic audit report accused him of fraud, theft, maladministration, dishonesty and criminal activity.

Mamelodi believed that, given severity of the report, he was entitled to a hearing to answer to the findings raised before the report was finalized. However, BFA contested that the objective of the forensic audit was to investigate the operations of the Botswana Premier League for compliance with its binding procedures. The association also argued that there was no legal obligation for Mamelodi to make representations during the conduct of the forensic audit.

Furthermore, BFA believes that the audit does not constitute conclusive evidence against Mamelodi or anyone but merely raises issue with Mamelodi’s role. Therefore, BFA took a stand that Mamelodi would have opportunity to rebut the charges laid as premised from the audit report at the disciplinary hearing. But at the end, the high court took a position that there is no point in setting aside the forensic report largely because it was not going to affect anything.

This is the case more because the association had already terminated Mamelodi’s contract as the issue was on going. Mamelodi was head hunted in 2012 by the leadership of Mike Molefhe. He was primarily brought to bring more sponsors into the league, as his football language was deemed ‘too convincing to ignore.’  However, his ascendency to this post raffled few feathers.  The board did not agree in unison regarding his coming, some saying at least the post be advertised to avoid  a case that the former sports consultant was been favoured.

 He was later to encounter opposition of many kinds when he tried to negotiate with the world class television in Super Sport Channel to beam Botswana premier league games. The move equally divided football spectrum some expressing contentment that the television will market local players while others felt that the state owned television should be given first priority as has always been the case. However, those who would more readily doubt Mamelodi’s credentials might suggest this was merely the latest instance of passing the buck.

Before his fall, he had been breaking relations with some staff members and the combination of complaints from the administrative team to anxious political persons in BFA pointed to his direction. Some observers however feel it was harsh in the manner the sports administrator has been treated, but there are members of the BFA hierarchy who had grown tired of his perceived blame culture hence pushing for his ultimate fall, reports claim.



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