Botswana’s biggest trade union, the Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BOFEPUSU), is challenging its “unlawful and irregular” de-registration in court.
BOFEPUSU, which is a federation of trade unions comprising two largest trade unions in the country: Local Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union and Botswana Public Employees Union, was registered under the Trade Unions and Employers’ Organisation ACT (TUEO) on 12 August 2008.
The union was, however, deregistered earlier this year at the recommendation of the Attorney General’s chambers following representations made to government by the rival Botswana Federation of Trade Unions.
Rantao Kewagamang & Bogosi Attorneys, who are acting for BOFEPUSU, issued a statement on Friday that they are under instructions to appeal BOFEPUSU deregistration “on the basis that it is unlawful and/or irregular for the reasons which we shall set out in the notice of appeal to be filed at the High Court on or around Wednesday, 22 July 2009. In terms of the TUEO, once the intended appeal is filed at the High Court, the operation of the Registrar’s cancellation order is suspended until such time that the High Court determines the appeal. Thus, once we have filed the appeal on our client’s behalf as indicated above, our client shall continue to operate as if nothing has happened until such time that the High Court determines the appeal.”
The law firm stated that they had also been instructed by BOFEPUSU to “advise the tens of thousands of its members across the country to remain calm.”