Beleaguered Premier League side Notwane FC who have been mired in controversy since the league started have finally taken their matter to court seeking an interdict to part ways with estranged owner, Gift Kealeboga Mogapi.
Notwane FC, represented by the mother body Notwane Club, filed an urgent application seeking a court interdict that Mogapi should not receive the TV rights money from television broadcast rights holder Botswana Television (Btv) and that Mogapi be disassociated from the premier league side.
Notwane Club argues that Mogapi cannot have bought the football team as it is a society and cannot be sold. They say instead, their deal was for him to buy the investment company called Notwane FC (Pty) Limited, which is a vehicle formed purely for investment purposes and to raise funds for the team’s needs. The mother body further argues that Mogapi has since abandoned the team and has not paid anything, be it signing-on fees or monthly salaries for players.
Further, they say he has also not been available to run the team and continues to be away to date. In the meantime, the club continues to accumulate debts with every passing day. The matter was brought before High Court Judge, Justice David Newman on Monday afternoon, but could not proceed and had to be postponed to next week in order to allow the applicants time to serve Mogapi with the summons and related documents.
Notwane has engaged the services of attorney Morupi Mbeha of Mbeha Attorneys, while attorney Yame Tshepo Kebabonye of Kebonang Attorneys represented Mogapi.
On Monday, Kebonang Attorneys were not representing Mogapi per se, but had to appear before the court because they are the last attorneys of record who made correspondence with both Mogapi and the Botswana Premier League (BPL).
A few weeks ago Mogapi engaged Kebonang Attorneys to write a letter to the BPL and other stakeholders demanding for the release the P100 000 money from the broadcast rights into his account. The money is still in the BPL coffers after Mogapi was recalled as the premier league board Vice Chairperson.
When the matter started on Monday, it was made clear that Mogapi, whose whereabouts are unknown although believed to be in South Africa’s coastal city of Cape Town, has not been served with the necessary documents. Instead, it was only his attorneys who appeared without even carrying any instruction from him, but had to appear as they were served with court papers. It is against this background the high court agreed to postpone the matter to Wednesday.