Kauta not ruling out second term at NPL

… Plans to sue NFA over presidency snub

PATRICK Kauta has said it is still too early for him to make a decision on whether he will stand again as chairperson of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) after his term comes to an end in September 2021.

The NPL Board of Governors will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September, where a financial report is expected to  tabled to the clubs and will also deliberate on the elective congress set for next year as well as the way forward for the NPL.

Under the rules, the NPL can only hold its AGM once its suspension from the Namibia Football Association (NFA) is lifted. They were suspended from the soccer mother body last year for allegedly bringing local football into disrepute.

In an interview with Confidente Sport Desk, Kauta would not confirm or deny whether he will be available for nomination. He was appointed NPL chairperson at an elective congress in September 2017, following the shock resignation of Johnny Doeseb in February that year.

“The NPL chairmanship is only vacant in 22 months’ time. As such, you are asking me to speak to the future. I normally don’t run my life like that because the future is not guaranteed,” he said.

Kauta has been on the receiving end of criticism from various quarters  including sections of the football fraternity that blame him for the lull in local football, in particular the Premier League, with the court case against the NFA over the relegations and promotions issue at the centre of the argument.

The clubs at the centre of the relegation and promotion controversy are Orlando Pirates and Civics, that finished in the bottom three of the NPL last season  but the dispute arose because there was no first division league to relegate them to. Young African FC were also kicked out of the league for using a player with a false identification during a league match against Citizens Football Club.

The NPL appeal against the NFA will be heard in the Supreme Court on 5 February.

Kauta is set to file a second High Court application against the Normalisation Committee (NC)  following its decision to exclude him from the shortlist of three for the NFA presidency. Kauta has not yet decided when he will submit the fresh application.

The elective congress of the NFA is slated for 22 February 2020.

Kauta has been an executive member of the NFA as chairperson of the NPL but did not meet the criteria for the shortlist, as required by the NC. The main reason given by the NC at the announcement of candidates for various top NFA positions  such as that of president – which Kauta was vying for – as well as vice-president, second vice-president and executive members of the association, is that he was an official of a suspended member (NPL) at the time of the examination of the nominations.

The NPL was suspended by the NFA last September for allegedly bringing football into disrepute.

It has been noted that the NFA constitution (Article 9.1) states that the congress shall decide whether to admit, suspend or expel a member. However, it is understood that in this case there was a provision under the terms of reference of the NC that permitted the interim committee to suspend the NPL after FIFA gave a directive to that effect.

Another reason given by the NC was that Kauta was involved in the removal of former president of the NFA, Frans Mbidi, in October 2018.

Kauta seems aggrieved though that he was not personally informed by the NC as to why he was not eligible for the post and only heard about it in the media. His lawyer, Edwin Coetzee of Tjitemisa and Associates law firm said Kauta only received the news through the media, although NC chairperson Hilda Basson-Namundjebo during the announcement of the shortlisted candidates on 21 January said all candidates that did not make the list were informed.

Coetzee is also representing Mpasi Haingura, who was also excluded from the list for his involvement in the removal of Mbidi from the post.

“Our client has not been officially informed by the Normalisation Committee. He will respond to your questions once he has received official communication. Our client’s rights are reserved. The mandatory seven days, on our calculation, expired on 21 January 2020.

“To date hereof, the Electoral Code has failed to inform our clients of its decision but deemed it fit to inform the media. Consequently, we write to request the record of the Electoral Code proceedings and the reasons for your decision in respect of our clients,” Coetzee wrote.