Former board member of the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), Ookeditse Malesu, is set to become a third candidate in the Botswana Football Association Presidential race.
Malesu claims he has the nominations needed to be an official candidate against heavy weights, MacLean Letshwiti and Tebogo Sebego – sources have said.The development will mean that Malesu faces an uphill battle, where incumbent President Letshwiti has announced his intention to defend his position while Sebego, a former BFA boss himself, is believed to be eyeing the same throne although he is yet to make an official statement.
Malesu has also worked for the association under the leadership of Letshwiti. He was actually Letshwiti’s foot soldier in 2016 and was honoured with a Chief Executive Officer post, although he could not last. Insiders believe he is standing because he was mistreated and would want to exert his long planned revenge.Malesu’s rise to the BFA desirable post ruffled some feathers and caused the National Executive Committee to split upon his appointment in March 2017. Sources say the President bulldozed everything to appoint him but had to accept the otherwise difficult pill to swallow, that Malesu was never the right man to lead the association.
That will later vindicate the assessment of Letshwiti’s two then Vice Presidents, Marshlow Motlogelwa and Segolame Ramotlhwa. It was an open secret that the duo was in opposition of the appointment of the former swimming and karate administrator.The association refused to reveal the salary scale Malesu was on, but it was believed he was among the highest paid employees. The sport administrator was never given a full binding contract to sign. Upon his appointment, a three month probation was initiated whilst assessing his competence. It later appeared that it was a rough three months for Malesu, whose appraisals indicated that he was below par.
When reached for clarity, Malesu said some football influencers want him to contest. He said he has considered the call and he will be holding discussions with them.“It is not my call alone, people are pushing me and I am meeting them sooner than later to hear and promote their dream. I will therefore be able to comment with full details after the meeting,” Malesu said in a brief interview.Meanwhile closed door meetings are held in the still of the night, as internal lobbying kick starts. It is in this regard that a yet to be confirmed report is also running loose that Ashford Mamelodi is being cajoled to contest against Letshwiti. The pawn move will see Sebego taking a second plum post of Vice Presidency as efforts to bring down the incumbent are accelerated with a stronger lobby group.
Mamelodi is a retiree of FIFA. He worked as Development Officer and prior to the rise of this report, he has been under Letshwiti’s radar training regions about FIFA goal projects. It remains to be seen if he will openly accept the call.As things stand, football insiders say Letshwiti remains a firm favourite to get a second successive term in the July/ August ballot despite the premier league crisis that is expected to taint his new campaign message.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.