Industrial Court Judge, Paper Molomo, on Friday dismissed an urgent application in which Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer Bennett Mamelodi was seeking to challenge his redeployment to Botswana Football Association (BFA). Mamelodi, through his lawyer Dutch Leburu, had lodged an urgent contempt of court application against his employer following his redeployment. The redeployment comes at a time when the parties are awaiting judgment in a case in which he challenges the legality of BPL board to have him suspended. The ruling on the matter is expected to the delivered on October 5, 2016. Mamelodi and his lawyer felt the redeployment is in contempt of court’s prior ruling.
Leburu argued that the redeployment is unlawful and contemptuous. He went on to say the move seems to be prejudicial since a ruling is yet to be made. “Since the redeployment is not conforming to the contractual agreements we submit that it is unlawful,” said Leburu. According to Leburu the redeployment also has a potential to deny his client his contractual benefits. Speaking on behalf of the defendant, Otto Itumeleng called for the judge to dismiss the application as there is nothing wrong with the redeployment. Itumeleng said BFA exercised its prerogative as the employer to redeploy Mamelodi. He assured that the move is not in any way threatening his employment like some may look at it.
Some in the football fraternity see the redeployment of Mamelodi as a way of trying to get rid of him. However, Itumeleng said there is nothing of this sort. The lawyer explained that the move is meant to give way for conducting forensic audit at BPL. “As it is outlined in the redeployment letter and in the constitution the respondent is entitled to his benefits,” said Itumeleng. Leburu argued that his client has been redeployed and the redeployment is not detailed. “The letter of the redeployment does not have detailed information on what position he will be holding there,” he said. The redeployment is said to be a temporary arrangement meant to give BPL the chance to conduct a forensic audit. It is reported that the deployment is of a period not over a month.
However, Judge Molomo ordered the two parties to meet to sort an amicable solution for the matter. Molomo had indicated that the best way would be to give conditions that Mamelodi be given written assurance that he will enjoy the benefits of his contract even on his redeployment. The defendant’s lawyer however could not sort further instruction from BFA NEC on this. When giving a pronouncement on the matter Judge Molomo said there is nothing urgent about the matter. Molomo further said nothing appears to be contemptuous about the redeployment. The judge had always maintained from the beginning that there was nothing wrong with the redeployment hence the decision to dismiss the application. “Each party will pay their own costs,” said Molomo.