Thursday, June 13, 2024

Butale not going down without a fight

Expelled Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Biggie Ganda Butale,  has notified the National Executive Committee (NEC) of his decision to cite them for contempt of court as the party battles its worst crisis since inception.

This is contained in a letter from Butale’s lawyers dated 14 July 2023 marked ‘urgent” addressed to party spokesperson Lawrence Ookeditse, Secretary General Tshekedi Khama, Vice President Mephato Reatile, Secretary for Health Kolaatamo Malefho and chairperson of the disciplinary committee Barulaganyi Letang.

The letter from Rammika Tafa Attorneys warns the party to “…. cease from misleading the public” and identifies the above-mentioned members of the BPF NEF “to be the key persons perpetuating a recurrent stratagem for his removal as the President of the party.”

“On the 4th of July 2023 yours issued a letter in which there was a purported Disciplinary Committee meeting in which the President, among other members, was suspended,” the lawyers said. The letter was authored by Letang.

The lawyers said by the 10th of July 2023, this letter was disregarded as fake by the Disciplinary Committee Vice Chairman “and it was made clear that the above stated Mr Letang was not even a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the BPF.”

Butale’s lawyers said “A further correspondence was issued on the 13th of July 2023 in which one Tshekedi Khama purported to communicate an expulsion of the President from a purported NEC meeting held on the same day.”

The said NEC meeting, was called “by one Mephato Reggie Reatile on the 12th of July 2023, despite his suspension which was issued on the 9th of July 2023.”

“It is very clear that yours resorts to self-help at all times instead of engaging the court if disgruntled by a lawful decision of the party President,” Butale’s lawyers said.

“You are forewarned that you have acted against a court order dated the 26th of April 2023 from Honourable Judge Phuthego, and you are also informed that your actions undermine the honourable court in that they render moot a decision which is still pending before Honourable Judge Motlhabi,” the lawyers said.

The instructed attorneys notified the NEC that an application is being prepared which “shall be lodged today, 14th July 2023, in the event that: Yours does not issue a letter in writing retracting the purported suspension and expulsion.”

“The letter must also accept that yours is to cease and desist from issuing any communication without obliging to the approval of the President leading a properly called NEC,” said the lawyers.

Butale’s lawyers also cited Justice Phuthego’s judgement in which he had directed that affected NEC members are “interdicted and/or restrained from calling or holding any convocations or meetings without the calling of same by the 1st Applicant (Butale) per the Botswana Patriotic Front Constitution.” In his judgement in the matter in which Butale had dragged the said NEC members to court during one of his strings of suspension, Phuthego also interdicted and/or restrained the NEC from disseminating any communications under the official forums and colours of the Botswana Patriotic Front without authorization from Butale.

The NEC members were also interdicted from issuing and/or publishing any statements on behalf of the BPF. They were also interdicted from making use of or attempting to make use of any of the BPF’s property including but not limited to email(s), online and social media platforms, letterheads and/or stationery.  They were further interdicted from purporting to represent the BPF in any form or manner without lawful National Executive Committee authorization as led by Butale.

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