Former Botswana Premier League (BPL) chairman Walter Kgabung and his deputy Solomon Mantswe have finally broken their silence regarding their recalling by the BPL Board of Governors. The duo said their removal was both unlawful and inconsistent with the constitution provisions of Botswana Football Association (BFA). Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday Kgabung said it is undisputable that all the decisions made at the March 26, 2016 meeting of the BPL board do not have legal backing. He said they were surprised by the move of BFA National Executive Committee to endorse the decisions. The board had decided to recall the two as well as suspend the Chief executive Officer Bennett Mamelodi together with his personal assistant. It also recommended that Mahloane hold the fort in the absence of the CEO.
Kgabung and Mantswe argue that the BPL board acted wrongly to recall them, saying that move contravened Article 51.5.3 of BFA constitution. “Our desire is not to question authority, but rather to express our fear that the endorsement of such unlawful decisions, which are clearly a contravention of Article 12.5.3 of the BFA Constitution, have the greatest potential not only to injure our reputation(s) as members of the Premier League Board and in our individual and collective capacities, but also bring our beautiful game into disrepute,” said Kgabung. They refuted allegations levelled against them by the board. At the fore was the issue of the alleged embezzlement of funds at BPL which Kgabung said the blame was put on him and his deputy. He explained that in a meeting held on March 5, 2016 projections indicated that because of failure to realise financial inflows from projected income generating streams, the league would be over the budget by about P6 million.
This is the amount of money that is at the centre of the saga that is going on at BPL. The duo maintained that they did not embezzle any Thebe of the money. However, they revealed that they have not called the press conference to call for their reinstatement. “We cannot force to remain at these positions when the board clearly does not want us there. If in the opinion of those who made the decision to recall them it was in the best interest of football then let it be,” Kgabung said. Nonetheless they cautioned that if the actions were geared towards achieving anything besides this, it will be a sad day for local football. They however, did not threaten any legal action.