Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Limkokwing University students win court case over Ministry of Education

In a case in which LimKokwing students had taken the Ministry Of Education (MoE) to Court, High Court Judge Maruping Dibotelo instructed that the MoE pay the students their allowances.

The new developments on the Limkokwing versus MoE legal battle bore fruit as the students yesterday received their living allowances for the months of June-July as ordered by the High Court judge.

Limkokwing students, through their Student Representative Council (SRC), filed a suit against the MoE after the ministry failed to meet its promise to credit them with their June-July living allowance.

Narrating the irregularities that led to the brief legal battle, the Chairman of Non Academic Affairs of the Limkokwing SRC, Tswelelang Maswabi, said the main reason for suing the Ministry was for the unprofessional inconvenience the Ministry had caused them. 

Maswabi said that they had received a letter on the 27th of March, notifying them of the cessation of off campus allowances during the long vacation of December-January, but while they rested assured that with all other vacations they would receive their allowances, word filtered to them that the MoE would not be paying allowances for the months of June-July. 

Upon hearing the news, they approached the MoE where they were assured that they would receive their allowance. 

On June 1, the student SRC President went to the MoE where he was again assured that they will get their allowances and even served with a confirmation letter informing the student community that their allowances would be credited on or before the 5th of June. 

But Maswabi says while still waiting, another letter from the Permanent Secretary, Ruth Maphorisa, arrived on the 3rd of June informing them that student living allowances would not be credited. He said the reason given was that UB students will not be getting any allowance; therefore, it would be fair if the directive applied to all. 

It was then that the Limkokwing SRC decided to take legal action against the MoE.

On Monday at the High Court in Lobatse, Justice Dibotelo ordered the MoE to pay Limkokwing students as had been promised initially.

The acting Limkokwing SRC president, Mr. Aldo Motsemme, said Justice Dibotelo ruled that, as an urgent matter, the “respondents (being MoE) are hereby ordered to pay the applicants (being the Limkokwing students) their allowance as the ministry had earlier undertaken on or before the 17th day of June 2009”.

Motsemme said Dibotelo then deemed proper the decision undertaken by the MoE to pay the Limkokwing students as served in the letter dated 1st June 2009, which rebuffed the Ministry’s letter, dated June 3rd 2009 which informed the students that they would not be receiving any living allowance for the month of June-July.

Motsemme said on passing judgment, Dibotelo said that ”the decision of the MoE and Skills Development as contained in the letter dated the 1st of June 2009 confirming payment of allowances to the applicants is hereby declared as the proper decision of the Ministry of Education & Skills Development”.

Asked on how he felt about the outcome of the case, Motsemme said it’s something that they had wanted to see happening.

“We did not want to be seen as fighting anyone,” he said. “Justice has prevailed.”

He said students are now happy and are back to classes in full force as shown by the high class attendance on Wednesday and that they had now paid their landlords.

Motsemme thanked the student community for the support they had given them during the trying times.

The Public Relations Officer in the MoE, Nomza Zuze, could not comment on the matter but referred this paper to higher authorities in the MoE.

The Permanent Secretary in the MoE, Ruth Maphorisa, could not be reached for comment as she was in Malaysia while Mr.Golekanye Setupe and Mr. Moloke Moloke, both Deputy Permanent Secretaries in the MoE, were said to be in a meeting.


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