Monday, June 1, 2020

BOPEU ignores court judgement

There appears to be no end in sight for the internal fight that has divided Botswana Public Employees Union.

BOPEU under the leadership of its Vice President Olefile Monakwe said on Friday that the chairperson of Babereki Investments Masego Mogwera remains suspended.

This is despite a court judgement setting aside a communication purporting to dismiss Mogwera who is also the President of the union. Monakwe suspended Mogwera as the chairperson of BOPEU’s investment arm a few weeks ago.

Lobatse High Court Justice Ketlogetswe last Thursday ruled that Monakwe’s decision to dismiss Mogwera and three other Babereki Investment board members was unlawful. The ink on Justice Ketlogetswe’s judgement had hardly dried when Monakwe issued a statement Friday stating that Mogwera remains suspended from BOPEU.

“We wish to clarify that the matter in which Masego Mogwera took the leadership  of BOPEU to the courts, in a way refusing to hand over Babereki Investments, a subsidiary of BOPEU, back to members, being the rightful owners, was not a case against the suspension of Masego Mogwera as President of BOPEU.”

Monakwe stated further that: “this case was and is not about her position at BOPEU but is about her refusing to handover Babereki Investments.” He said the period of suspension and its ultimate shall be determined by the disciplinary hearing scheduled for 3rd June.

“Cde Olefile Monakwe remains the Acting President until further notice as of a National Executive Committee resolution of the 27 April 2019 that also suspended Masego Mogwera as the President of BOPEU pending disciplinary hearing,” said Monakwe.

He said “we are not comfortable to be handling these matters through the courts and we wish there was another way but Masego Mogwera has opted to route the matters through the courts and we have to abide.”

Mogwera, together with three other Board members; Martin Gabobakwe, Tlhabologo Galekhutle and Otto Itumeleng were recently dismissed from the Board of Babereki Investments (BI). BI is an investment arm of BOPEU. Mogwera and team then took acting president, Olefile Monakwe to court seeking nullification of their removal from the Board.

Ketlogetswe last week confirmed an interim interdict in favour of Mogwera and team and directed that the decision and or communication by Monakwe seeking to dismiss or dis-appoint Mogwera and fellow applicants as members of the Board of Directors, was unlawful and set aside.

The judgement states that the “respondent (Monakwe or his associated or any party claiming through him are interdicted and restrained from interfering the applicants (Mogwera and others) in the discharge of their functions as directors of the 1st Applicant(Babereki Investments)  including but not limited to the business premises of the first applicant.”

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