Sunday, July 25, 2021

BOPEU hauls Babereki over the coals for contempt

The Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) has challenged Babereki Investment (Pty) Ltd for contempt of court.

The union alleges the company has failed to obey a Court of Appeal order issued by Judge President Ian Kirby instructing Babereki Investment (Pty) Ltd – a wholly owned BOPEU company and chairperson Masego Mogwera to convene an annual general meeting on 24 April 2021.

This development comes after Babereki Investment team led by Masego Mogwera (one of BOPEU directors) submitted two lists of members who are allegedly eligible to attend and vote at the annual general meeting (AGM) which was expected take place on Friday 24th April 2021.

In his ruling on the previous hearing, Court of Appeal Judge Ian Kirby noted being aware of the toxic relationship between BOPEU leadership and ruled that an AGM be held before 25 April 2021 to vote for a preferred candidate to run the union as President and also to be part of Babereki Investment (Pty) Ltd.

According to court documents, on the 10th March 2021 the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Masego Mogwera and the two directors of Babereki investment  (Pty) Ltd a company wholly  owned by BOPEU against the judgment of the High Court  ordering the Board of Directors to convene an AGM of Babereki  InvestmentS.

In the previous hearing, at the High Court, BOPEU applied that Masego Mogwera be ordered to convene an AGM.

It court papers, BOPEU attorney Tshiamo Rantao said it is not clear why Mogwera and her team have been fighting tooth and nail for months to block the AGM but there may well harbour fears that the AGM will have them removed as directors.

According to court documents, one of the issues at the AGM which the President of Court of Appeal Ian Kirby  ordered was to be held no later than 25th April 2021 and will be for the removal and appointment of directors.

According to court documents, BOPEU was not happy with the said resolution by Babereki Investment Board.

BOPEU filed an urgent application citing three (3) directors for contempt indicating that the manner in which the cited board members voted to accept both lists was calculated to ensure that the scheduled AGM does not proceed. 

The application was filed on the 31st March 2021. In the same application, BOPEU sought a declaratory order such that the court determines which of the two lists comprises members of BOPEU entitled to attend the AGM.

The Court of Appeal made an order that Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd should convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM) on or before the 25th April 2021.

BOPEU indicated that the manner in which the cited board members voted to accept both lists was calculated to ensure that the scheduled AGM does not proceed.

The Telegraph has learnt that the respondents (BOPEU) are to file their answering affidavit on or before the 26th April 2021.

This publication further learnt that an AGM which was scheduled for Friday 24th 2021 was postponed pending a determination on this matter.

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