BPL fights back

Legwatagwata Kheme - BG correspondent
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
BPL fights back

An impromptu Botswana Premier League (BPL) board meeting was expected to convene on Thursday afternoon(Today) at Lekidi in a desperate bid to block the imminent return of the organisation’s suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi.

These developments came barely a week after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) failed to give the subordinate BPL, permission to file responding affidavits against Mamelodi at the Gaborone Industrial court. According to sources close to the matter, the BPL board felt betrayed and hard done by their superiors in the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC). This is especially true for those within the BPL board who are doing all in their power to get rid of Mamelodi.

This week, BG Sport sources said BPL board members have since put pressure on the organisation’s interim chairman Rapula Okaile to call an urgent meeting and address events surrounding Mamelodi’s case. This week, a BPL board member who spoke to BG Sport on condition of anonymity said they will do whatever it takes to counter Mamelodi’s return to Lekidi.

“He cannot come back, we are going to apply for an urgent application with the court. We believe we have a legal standing to defend ourselves. If we do not have the legal standing, it means Mamelodi’s contract with us does not exist,” he said. Lately, reliable sources have told BG Sport that a legal representative from a South African law firm has already been identified to represent the BPL in their urgent application. Okaile on Wednesday confirmed the emergency BPL meeting. However, the reluctant chairman maintained that the purpose of the meeting is not only about Mamelodi but to shed light on various issues recently addressed by the NEC. “Amongst these issues is the Mamelodi case,” Okaile said. Mamelodi had earlier dragged his employers before the court challenging the legality of his suspension after the BPL accused him of maladministration.

After a court hearing last month, it later appeared that the BPL had filed inadequate documents. Consequently, this meant that the BPL did not have legal standing to face Mamelodi in court unless the BFA NEC gave them power of attorney. The Industrial Court later advised the BPL to file fresh and truthful documents to properly argue their case. The BPL was given until this week Tuesday to file their new heads of argument but this did not happen. This meant the court would ultimately deliver a default judgment. In other matters, the BPL board is expected to deliberate on the disbursement of BPL prize monies to teams. BG Sport understand that BPL had asked the NEC to allow them to ask BTCL to disburse prize monies to all teams which are not affected by the current saga that affects Mochudi Center Chiefs and Township Rollers.

At the same seating the board is expected to endorse Okaile who has been BPL interim chairman since the departure of former Chairman Walter Kgabung and former vice chairman Solomon Mantswe. It remains to be seen how the BPL's urgent application will unfold and whether they will convince the court that they have the power of attorney. As things stand the BFA constitution does not recognize BPL as a structure or entity that has power to sue without the blessing of the NEC.

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