Ousted members of the Botswana Mine Workers Union who did time last year for contempt of court face a further 30 day jail term should they fail to return the union property.
The union General Secretary, Jack Tlhagale, has expressed optimism that members of the old Executive Union, will now comply with the order made by the Lobatse High Court recently.
“Hopefully they will comply and give back to the union what belongs to it and stop wasting time and money on unnecessary court actions,” he said.
The order, amongst other things, instructs that the applicants should repay the shortfall of P144, 155. 78, with 10 percent interest, to the Union within 30 days from the date of the order, failing which they would be incarcerated for a period of 30 days. The order states that their release from prison as ordered by court order of 13 October 2006 did not affect their obligation to pay the money owed. It further orders that vehicle B330 ACZ should be handed to the Secretary General of the Union within 10 days of the order, failing which the Union would be entitled to pay for the repairs of the vehicle and for any further costs necessitated by its long disuse.
On the issue of handing documents, the order said that each party should produce a list with details where possible and that on the side of the respondents the BMWU should say what documents they have so far received, which are missing and where and with whom they should have been stored or kept.
The old executive Committee was ordered to produce a list showing the documents they kept before the new union was voted into office, under whose control and which place they were used and kept. They must then state which of the documents they had handed over and to whom , with particulars to show delivery and, lastly, they must show which documents they have not handed over and state when they will be handing them over and to whom.
If the matter is not resolved, the order says either party can refer the matter to the registrar and master of the High Court for reconciliation.
The order gave the parties 14 days to resolve the matter.
All efforts to get a comment from the old executive were futile. After their release from jail, Christopher Molelo, who is cited as the first applicant in this matter, indicated that they intended to appeal against the judgment.