‘Original’ Black Africa win case over control of club

Black Africa in action against DTS in the Southern Stream First Division. File photo

The leadership of Black Africa Sports Club under interim chairperson Thomas Adams has won a High Court case in which its control of the club was disputed by a rival leadership faction.

In a judgement delivered in the Windhoek High Court on Friday, judge Herman Oosthuizen dismissed an application to have the club’s leadership under Adams stopped from using the name, logo, brand and assets of the club.

Oosthuizen found that the valid constitution of Black Africa Sports Club dates from 2020, and that a constitution dating from 2023 is invalid.

The judge also found that the executive committee of a faction also operating under the name Black Africa Sports Club, with Okeri Mbingeneeko as chairperson and Boni Paulino as chairperson of a board of directors of the club, is not the club’s legitimate leadership and does not have the legal standing to take action in the club’s name.

Black Africa Sports Club, which was relegated from the Namibia Premier Football League at the end of the 2022/23 season, is now playing in the Southern Stream First Division, with former Brave Warriors player Sylvester ‘Lolo’ Goraseb as part of the club’s executive committee.

The division suspended the club in December over the failure to honour its matches.

The suspension was a consequence of a power struggle which resulted in two factions vying for control, resulting in two different teams showing up for the club’s matches. They were docked points for forfeiting matches.

Black Africa, which is Namibia’s most decorated football club, belatedly kicked off its campaign in the Southern Stream First Division at the beginning of March and are positioned ninth on the 12-team division’s log.

In sworn statements filed at the court, Mbingeneeko and Adams both claimed they were chairing the legitimate executive committee that should be in control of the club.

According to Mbingeneeko, a new constitution of the club was adopted at an annual general meeting in July last year, and in terms of that constitution, a board of directors, with Paulino as chairperson, was then elected.

Adams claimed the July 2023 meeting was illegal, and that an executive committee elected in terms of a constitution adopted at a meeting at Rehoboth in November 2020 remains in control of the club.

Adams also said in his statement that an interim committee, which was in control of the club after a previous owner of the club, Ranga Haikali, transferred the ownership and administration of the club to supporters of Black Africa, failed to draw up a new constitution and hold an annual general meeting.

The interim committee also resisted affiliating the club with the Namibia Premier Football League, choosing instead to register with the Namibia Premier League, which had been expelled by the Namibia Football Association, Adams informed the court.

Oosthuizen found that he had to accept the version of Adams and the executive committee led by him, with the result that he found Mbingeneeko and Paulino did not have the required legal standing to take legal action in the club’s name, and that the executive committee led by Mbingeneeko and board of directors under Paulino cannot validly transact on behalf of the club.

The leadership led by Mbingeneeko was represented by lawyer Norman Tjombe.

Lawyer Logino Goraseb of the law firm Ileni Velikoshi Incorporated represented Adams and the executive committee led by him.

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