Caught in the storm

SHARE   |   Monday, 29 February 2016   |   By Ontametse Sugar
Ofentse Nato during a match against Township Rollers vs Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the Mascom Top 8 game Ofentse Nato during a match against Township Rollers vs Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the Mascom Top 8 game

Mochudi Centre Chiefs are protesting the use of veteran midfielder Ofentse Nato by Township Rollers during their recent Mascom Top 8 game. Rollers have signed Nato for a four months period as a free agent from Atletico de Kolkata (India). However Chiefs question his registration as they believe that he was not registered accordingly which makes him a defaulter.  Chiefs have taken the matter up with Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee had three members hearing the case and it was chaired by Tony Manewe. The matter was heard on Thursday with Rollers bringing Secretary General Khumoyame Masonya and Sydney Magagane while Mochudi Centre Chiefs had in representation Clifford Mogomotsi and Gabriel Kanjabanga who said that even though he is a lawyer he was standing in as a member.

Before the case began things took an interesting turn when Chiefs questioned the presence of the Botswana Premier League officials and wanted them out. Prosecutor for the premier league Mike Rasetshwane tried to justify their presence, but they ended up excusing themselves to allow the case to continue. BPL CEO Bennett Mamelodi remained behind to listen to the proceedings. When presenting their case before the DC Kanjabanga said that they made a verbal protest on the day of the game. This was reportedly done by Mogomotsi to the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the Mascom Top 8 Mr Mbenge before the game started. Kanjabanga said they then followed that up immediately with a payment of P10 000 to fulfil the requirements for a protest.  Township Rollers’ Masonya asked that proof of payment be confirmed, and the CEO of the league Mamelodi confirmed while Chiefs also produced a copy of payment.

Since the verbal protest was said to have been lodged before Mbenge, he was called to the stand where he denied ever having a conversation with Mogomotsi in relation to such even though they have met and had conversations. “I saw Cliff and we talked because Cliff is my friend, but we were talking about other stuff and nothing to do with the use of Nato,” he said. With that the DC asked for direction and Township Rollers jumped to 17.1 clause that says that BFA play rules shall be enforceable if there are inadequacies. Chiefs excitedly agreed to this because the BFA rules put them on a safe side since the clause says protests should be made in writing in a period of seven days, something that they have done well. This made the case even complicated for the DC, and they adjourned.  The matter will continue next week Tuesday because Township Rollers had to make a submission, since they did not bring a professional lawyer who could make a submission.