The Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi has returned to Lekidi after his controversial suspension was lifted this week.
His return to the BPL secretariat signals the end of a court case that pitted him against his erstwhile superiors - the recently dissolved BPL board, which was chaired by Rapula Okaile. The BPL board was recently dissolved for undermining and defying instructions from Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee (NEC). This week, BFA president Tebogo Sebego confirmed that Mamelodi’s suspension has been lifted. “Mamelodi is back in office and there is a backlog of issues that he has to urgently deal with like club licensing, disbursement of last season’s club prize monies,” said Sebego who has long supported the BPL CEO’s return.
One of the issues Mamelodi is expected to deal with is drawing fixtures of next season’s games. Earlier this week, sources close to the BFA revealed that Sebego and the association’s CEO Kitso Kemoeng met with the league sponsors, beMOBILE on Tuesday to iron out pending issues in a bid to pave way for next season.
Mamelodi’s return to office coincides with the elective BFA Annual General Assembly (AGA) scheduled for August 13th. The AGA is also expected to have a bearing on whether Mamelodi stays at Lekidi or not. It will also decide whether the BPL should be run by a board of club chairmen or a management committee made up of independent professionals.
Should the AGA pass the motion that calls for the league affairs being run by a management committee, this will mean the end of a legal tussle between Mamelodi and the dissolved BPL board which will be dealt with once and for all.
The BPL board previously incensed the BFA NEC after they refused to lift Mamelodi’s suspension following allegations of maladministration. After Mamelodi dragged the BPL board to court, the BFA refused to give the semi autonomous body power of attorney to challenge the former.
Meanwhile, in the absence of any interference from the BPL board, the association lifted Mamelodi’s suspension with immediate effect and he resumed his duties yesterday [Wednesday]. This means all charges against Mamelodi will eventually be dropped.
Initially some of Mamelodi’s office equipment was seized by law enforcement officers including his cell phones. However, by press time it was not clear whether these items had been returned to him.