Saturday, May 8, 2021

BOPEU outs Mogwera from board

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU has removed ex-president Masego Mogwera and her team from the Babereki Investments board after she withdrew a court challenge contesting her removal from office. 

On Wednesday the 9th of December 2020, Mogwera’s team filed a Notice of Withdrawal of Action against Sedimo and his team with the High Court. 

In the notice of withdrawal, it is written that the applicants, which are Babereki Investments, Masego Mogwera, Martin Gabobake and Thabologo Galekhutle, hereby withdraw the application against the respondent (Botswana Public Employees Union) filed with the Court on the 27th November being an application for leave to appeal to the court of Appeal.

On the 17th of July 2020, Babereki Investments, together with Mogwera, Gabobake and Galekhutle, filed an urgent application before Justice Dube at Lobatse High Court to have a decision to remove them from the Babereki Investments board declared unlawful and set aside.

On her arguments, the application brought before court sought to set aside and declaring as unlawful the purported unanimous resolution of the shareholders of Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd, which is BOPEU, in lieu of a meeting in terms of Section 107 of the Companies Act dated 7th July 2020. 

It also sought to direct the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA) to re instate Mogwera and Galekhutle in the official records of CIPA as members of the Board of Directors of Babereki Investments. Following the filing and service, the various respondents filed their respective pleadings on the 23rd of July 2020. 

The main application by Mogwera and Co and the counter application by Sedimo and Co were argued on the 21st of August 2020. Judgement on the matter was delivered on the 23rd of October 2020, which found that the removal of Mogwera and Co on the Babereki Investment Board was unlawful and was set aside. CIPA was directed to re-instate Mogwera and Galekhutle. 

The Board of Directors of Babereki Investments was also ordered to convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the financial year ended June 2019 not later than 28 November 2020, at which the appointment and removal of directors was to be in the agenda. Subsequently, a decision was taken by the BOPEU board to appeal the orders and indeed apply for a stay pending the appeal. On the 28th of October 2020, Sedimo and Co filed an application in terms of which they sought an amendment in terms of settling of costs and in relation to the AGM.

The Court would later grant such an amendment. Further, Sedimo and Co, filed an appeal against Justice Dube’s judgement which was scheduled for hearing on the 10th of November 2020. 

On the 9th of November 2020, a day before the appeal was to be heard, Mogwera and Co, filed a Notice of Withdrawal of Action. The Babereki Investment AGM had been stayed pending the appeal. The Judge had suspended all her orders against Sedimo and Co in respect to the main application.  Specifically, Justice Dube had suspended her orders to the effect that Mogwera and Galekhutle be reinstated to the Babereki Board, pending the appeal.  

“Now that they have withdrawn from the appeal, it means that our decision to remove them from the board stands. The official board of directors dully appointed by ourselves are in office,” said Sedimo in an interview.

To him, the board will now pick up the pieces and perform their duties. 

Mogwera said her lawyers have advised that it was in their best interest to withdraw and approach court of appeal directly.

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