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COURT ORDERS HALT Legal battle over Botswana Golden Grand Prix puts event in doubt

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Gaborone High Court has interdicted preparations for the Botswana Golden Grand Prix, which was to be held in Gaborone on April 14.

According to this BOPA story, the event was organised by the country’s athletics governing body, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA).

Gaborone High Court, Justice Tshepo Motswagole said preparations for the event could only proceed once the matter had been heard on April 5.

The World Athletics had terminated their contract with Golden Door Sports Agency and gave the rights to BAA.

Golden Door Sports Agency, director Glody Dube through his lawyer, Ishmael Matebele approached the high court to seek stay of execution regarding pending issues between Golden Door Sports Agency and other seven respondents.

The respondents are Botswana Athletics Association, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), WRAG Group, World Athletics, Moses Bantsi, Robert Wagner and Tuelo Serufho.

Matebele also requested that the issue be heard as a matter of urgency and that the ordinary rules of court relating to times, forms and methods of service be dispensed within dealing with the matter as one of urgency.

Tiroyamodimo Sedimo appearing with Phillip Nyamambi representing BAA, BNSC, Serufho and Bantsi told the high court that the whole issue at hand was that the urgency was dependent on the letter of termination from World Athletics.

Sedimo said termination of contract by World Athletics was based on allegations of non-accountability by Golden Door Sports Agency.

He said the issue of accountability and lack of thereof had always been in existence as at the end of the previous event.

“Now, one had known of this issue that needs to be resolved or ratified as at then.”After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Motswagole said the event was around the corner and there were interested parties involved such as athletes and sponsors.

“There are athletes in the picture who had not caused anything and they need to prepare for the competition, therefore they need certainty and the matter is urgent and it deserves to be heard as such,” he said.

The high court also barred both Serufho and Bantsi from undertaking any preparations for the event in their capacities as employees of their respective entities.

Wrag Group and Wagner were also restrained and interdicted from participating in preparations of the event or benefiting financially from it.

The high court said the fact that WRAG Group, World Athletics and Wagner were outside the country, if desired, they should deliver their opposing papers on or before April 3.

Judge Motswagole also said BAA, BNSC, Serufho and Bantsi were at liberty to file supplementary affidavit not later than March 28. [DAILY NEWS]

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