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TK cuts BFA grants

Publishing Date : 29 July, 2019

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Hard to please Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has written a letter to Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) informing them about the looming intention and collective decision to seize part of the football association’s 2019-2020 annual subventions.


WeekendSport learns that sometimes in 2017, the Ministry of Sport, through BNSC paid an amount of P3 million on behalf of the association as legal expenses. This fee, specifically emanated from the cost incurred as BFA lost a lawful battle against one Pula Sports company that used to negotiate sponsors on behalf the Botswana Premier League (BPL) along the years of 2011 and 2012.


The company was co-directed by one former FIFA representative Ian Riley and Bennett Mamelodi who later became the league first ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The company’s claim to fame was when it negotiated millions of pulas to the league coffers under the local network giant, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), then trading as be MOBILE.


While the company would finally lie down under liquidation hammer, the association was seen to have failed, on numerous occasions, to pay them their dues and commission that first settled at P 2.5 million before reaching what seemed to be  insurmountable P3 million mark.
In November 2017, five years after the legal struggle, a conclusion was made that the Ministry of Sport will pay the amount to Pula Sports coffers but what happened thereafter was never discussed.


Tshekedi’s decision effectively means that BFA‘s subvention for this year will reach an all-time low of P 2.4 million. Without debts and any other costs, BFA is given P 5.4 million to run its affairs on annual basis. In furtherance of the Minister’s decision, BNSC’s CEO, Falcon Sedimo sent a communication to the BFA President Mac Lean Letshwiti on July 24th, notifying him about the debt and that the annual grant will be cut down. A copy of the letter, which WeekendSport has intercepted, is believed to have reached the table of the association’s CEO, Mfolo Mfolo this week.


Part of the letter reads: “This serves to inform you that we have received a letter from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to the effect that an amount of P 3 000 000 paid for legal fees on your behalf in 2017 be deducted from this year’s grant.” It continued, “you are therefore informed that the payment which was made on your behalf in November 2017, will be deducted from your 2019-2020 as per direction from the ministry.”


Efforts to reach the BFA CEO proved futile as the paper was going for print. However, some BFA high ranking members feel this is a continuous onslaught by the Minister on the association ever since he took the reins from Thapelo Olopeng. The member is of the view that BFA will formally reply as this was merely an extension of help by the Ministry.  How and why it ultimately became a debt is yet to be established.

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