BOPEU president Masego Mogwera blamed outside forces at the weekend’s attempt to topple her national office bearers, including herself. She said the forces sought to interfere with her relentless efforts to fight financial misappropriation and corruption that persisted under her predecessor, Andrew Motsamai’s regime.
Approached for comment late Saturday after appearing to have survived a coup by disgruntled members of her National Executive, Mogwera was unflinching: “We have information that some of our members are working with outside forces to frustrate our ongoing efforts at recovering what we lost during my predecessor’s reign.
“It is not surprising to some of us that the attempt to topple us was spearheaded by elements associated with that regime. They want to frustrate our ongoing efforts because with us gone, the many court cases we have launched against Motsamai and his friends would be stalled and die a natural death,” bemoaned Mogwera, who has launched a P40 million counterclaim against the former BOPEU president, Motsamai.
The suit also seeks reimbursements from a company called Mamatazz, which BOPEU says was paid huge sums of money in commission that was deliberately wrongly calculated during Motsamai’s tenure.
Mogwera said she was worried by the timing of the coup attempts, which she said coincided with critical dates for court hearings of major cases involving BOPEU assets.According to the president, on August 13, BOPEU will be in court seeking to reclaim some P381,144.11 from a former finance manager of Motsamai, who bought a car using the union’s money but never paid a thebe back. Mogwera said on August 14, another court case involving the recovery of about P1.4 million from a company called Boditsi, which did not have an authorised contract with BOPEU.
“Remember our court case with Motsamai involving BOPEU’s counterclaim of P40 million is also due on September 5.As for these actions(to remove us), we view them as attempts to replace BOPEU leadership with some friendly faces,” Mogwera, who added that she has information to prove the coup plotters
“In the past, we fired an officer who was sent to look for that particular devise and hand it to some people, who desperately wanted to destroy the information in there; today (Saturday) she (Masame) grabbed the device when it was being used at the aborted NEC meeting; I sent people to go and retrieve the device from her and she flatly refused. We have our fears as to where that device is going to end up because we know the people who have been after that devise, and to imagine that she is working with those people, is very sad,” Mogwera said.
Masame, however, maintained she was not handing over anything to a committee that had been suspended, referring to Mogwera’s committee.
Masame flatly refused with the device when an emissary was sent to collect the devise. She was briefing journalists and a team of police officers about the coup of the day.
However, Mogwera told The Monitor that they had no choice but to open a criminal case against her (Masame) for stealing sensitive information.
“The device contains all sensitive recordings of NEC meetings, including the resolutions taken to fire Motsamai, and to launch court cases against him and anybody, to recover BOPEU’s assets,” Mogwera emphasised.
Contacted for a comment, Motsamai said he had nothing to do with the politics of BOPEU. “It has been almost a year since I parted ways with BOPEU. I cannot be accused of using people in the same committee that removed me from office,” he said.