Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Industrial court beckons for Notwane and Paul

By Godfrey Mowaneng

The dispute between Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul and Tebogo Sebego led BTC premiership outfit, Notwane is set to spill into the Industrial court.

This follows the club’s refusal to yield to the former Notwane gaffer’s payment demands for ‘unfair dismissal.’ Notwane is allegedly prepared to pay the former Notwane coach one month of his salary after termination of contract.

However, the outspoken gaffer has refused the offer and the matter is now in the hands of Paul’s lawyers preparing for a date at the Industrial court.

Documents in possession of Sunday Standard reveal that the two parties failed to reach a settlement in a mediation that was held on the 18th December 2018.

“Please take further notice that there has been a mediation meeting held on the 18 December 2018 and there has been a failure on the dispute in terms of Section 7 (1) due to no prospects of the settlement,” so reads the documents.

“Now therefore in pursuance of Section 7 (18) of the Trade Dispute Act, this certificate is hereby issued notifying both parties that either party may now refer the said dispute to the Industrial Court for a hearing and determination,” it continues.

According to sources close to the matter, Notwane were advised to settle the matter out of Court as it does not favour their course and is set to cost the club lots of monies.

It is alleged that the club failed retrenchment procedures in dealing with Paul’s proposed salary cut in accordance with procedural fairness of the labour Act.

‘’It has emerged that Notwane failed to follow the procedure of notifying the Commissioner of Labour before the actual retrenchment in accordance with requirement of the Act that where the employer forms the intention to retrench he has forthwith give written notice of that intention to the Commissioner. However, instead the club copied to the Commissioner the retrenchment letter given to the employee,” the source revealed.

This publication has learnt that the failure to settle came as Paul demanded at least nine months pay as compared to the one month Notwane is willing to pay.

“Paul is definitely seeking intervention of the Industrial Court and his lawyers are preparing paperwork. It is just a matter of time before they file the case. He is willing to settle the matter out of Court but only if the club meets at least 50% of his 19 months that were left before the end of his contract with the club,” revealed a source.

Speaking to Sunday Standard, Sebego said the plan is to pay Paul what they believe is due to him. “The plan is to compensate Paul what we believe is due to him, the only challenge that we encounter now with Paul is that he believes he should be paid monthly salaries of the remainder of the contract and we do not believe that is what the law says. We were just being realistic that the team cannot afford hence forced to do a salary cut,” Sebego explained.

Reached for comment, Paul declined to comment on the matter saying ‘my lawyers are currently working on the matter and cannot comment at the moment”.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Cabinet caught up in a web of P240 million Covid-19 Tender

The fast-tracked procurement processes adopted by Covid-19 Presidential Task Force will come under renewed scrutiny when Botswana Government this week receives a...