Mmegi Online :: AG delays Manual Workers Union vs DCEC case
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 09:36 am.
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AG delays Manual Workers Union vs DCEC case

LOBATSE: Justice Raneire Busang was forced to postpone to February next year a case in which the National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCGPWU) is suing the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for violating the union membersí constitutional rights.
By Oarabile Mosikare Wed 19 Nov 2014, 16:38 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: AG delays Manual Workers Union vs DCEC case








Earlier this year the NALCGPWU otherwise known as Manual Workers Union notified the Attorney General of its intention to sue after the DCEC management instructed workers to resign from the union.

Since December 2013 the union has been receiving resignation letters from members who are DCEC employees. 

This is as a result of the new section 5C of the Corruption and Economic Crime Act, 2013. The new section forbids DCEC employees to become union members.

The case could not commence yesterday morning because the chief state counsel David Moloise came late to court and had not filed his heads of argument.  Moloise submitted that the matter was not ripe to proceed.

Busang postponed the matter to February 10, 2015.

He ordered Moloise to submit his heads on November 28, and the applicant’s attorney Tshiamo Rantao to file his response if any on December 12.

“Today’s costs are awarded to the applicant,” said Busang.  He also said the parties needed to dispose off this matter which has been pending since April, adding that it was an important constitutional matter.

In his papers Rantao wrote: “This provision is an unreasonable limitation

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of our client’s right to organise at the DCEC and it is violation of section 13 (1) of the Constitution of Botswana.”

Rantao also said the new DCEC section is an unjustifiable limitation of the right to join a union of one’s choice.

He also said it also flies in the face of the provisions of the more relevant Acts of Parliament.  “The new law also flies in the face of the positions taken by the International Labour Organisation Committee of Experts and Committee on Freedom of Association.

“Employees of the DCEC cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be one of the internationally recognised exemptions to the right to belong to a trade union.”

Rantao said it made little legal sense that employees of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and Botswana Police Service (BPS) can be permitted to unionise and yet there is a blanket prohibition for all DCEC employees including cleaners and drivers.

Moreover, the new section violated the DCEC employees’ right to non-discrimination, which is provided for under section 15 of the Constitution because similarly placed employees enjoy the right to unionise.

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