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MAMELODI: A man on the edge

MAMELODI: A man on the edge
SICK OR SACKED? Bennett Mamelodi

Botswana football is drowning in a murky river of despair.

Drama continues to plague the troubled Lekidi Football Centre with speculation rife that the Botswana Football Association (BFA) have once again suspended Botswana Premier League CEO Bennett Mamelodi.

It appears that Mamelodi, who only returned to his role as CEO in August following his suspension back in March on suspicion of mismanaging funds, was served with a suspension letter on Tuesday evening.

The official line from the BFA however, is that Mamelodi is on sick leave and is expected to report back to work next week, with BFA CEO Kitso Kemoeng telling Voice Sport, “I really don’t know anything about the suspension, though I have been getting a lot of inquiries about it!”

Despite his best efforts to prevent it from happening, the under-fire Mamelodi was recently redeployed, a temporary posting apparently designed to get him to work more closely with the BFA.

During his inaugural address to the media, newly elected BFA President, MacLean Letshwiti, revealed that the redeployment was in line with international standards.

“This is a global practice, I cannot have you in office while investigating you. That’s why we have redeployed Mamelodi. This is the best practice the world over,” explained Letshwiti.

In spite of Letshwiti’s comments, the wide-held belief amongst BFA members is that the redeployment was to ensure Mamelodi couldn’t interfere with an internal audit currently being conducted at the BPL.

Other whispers from behind the BFA’s doors suggest that Mamelodi’s redeployment was meant to facilitate the smooth return of Setete Phuthego to the Premier league as its general manger.

In the past Phuthego was forced to leave his post as GM because he and Mamelodi could not work together.

However, when contacted for a comment Phuthego dismissed the rumours he could be on his way back to the premier league, saying he had done his part.

“I am only available to serve football as an administrator not an employee. My seven years at BPL is as far as I could go,” he insisted.

Many in footballing circles have been questioning why ‘The Diving’ as Mamelodi is affectionately called, does not just quit his job since he is so obviously an unwanted man.

However inside sources have told this publication that none of the concerned parties want to pull the plug first.

“As it stands Mamelodi is untouchable to some extent; that is why they keep doing all these sorts of suspensions and redeployment. They are trying to frustrate him into resignation and he is not budging. In fact he is willing to sit down with his superiors to reach some sort of a golden agreement and part ways,” stated the anonymous source.

The source further claimed that the relationship between Mamelodi and his superiors is so toxic that none of the parties are willing to work with each other anymore.

Unfortunately, Voice Sport’s continued efforts to reach the CEO proved fruitless as his phone was not being answered.

Mamelodi’s contract with the BFA expires next year – should he somehow manage to see it through to the end, it would be a minor miracle!

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