BOPEU have told the Court that the secondment and remuneration of President Masego Mogwera and treasurer Thabologo Galekhutle was above board, contrary to allegations raised by challengers.
In their answering affidavit BOPEU also denied that they were paying President, and treasurer general salary structures not sanctioned by the union structures as alleged by their accusers.
BOPEU even went at length to show how the organisation pays the allowances of seconded officers, a process they say had always been transparent from time immemorial According to the answering affidavit the seconded officers’ allowances is the difference between his or her salary scale at BOPEU and the salary earned from government. “In terms of practice which existed prior to 2008 the seconded staff is paid a notch above the head of department to which he or she is seconded”. According to BOPEU, the recommendations for remunerations of seconded officers are presented to the National Governing Council(NGC) and CEC in the form of a proposed budget, something they say has been done since time immemorial.
According to the answering document no office bearers at BOPEU had drawn a salary not recommended by the finance committee or not approved by the CEC as the accusers allege. “The budget proposal as presented to the CEC or NGC by the finance committee entails the payment of salary / allowances for temporary staff, which include seconded staff”. “The statement that NEC was not aware is misleading as it is NEC which presents the proposed budget to CEC…It is therefore dishonest to allege lack of knowledge of the contents of the documents they(NEC) have recommended for approval to the CEC; it is further disingenuous of the applicant to attribute unlawfulness to a payment which has been paid by CEC”.
BOPEU also say in the papers that the amounts alleged to be remunerations of President and treasurer, of P70 000 and P65 000 a month are false and have no basis. BOPEU also say in the Court papers that the applicants, having been members of NEC since 2016, they cannot claim to have made the discovery just recently after being in office for excess of two years and each of the applicants having participated in the various approvals of the budget which contained salaries/allowances of seconded staff.
BOPEU also referred the Court to the 2017 Secretary General’s report to the CEC, which among others show adoption of the budget of BOPEU. “It is important
The Court paper also say the CEC report specifically touches on secondment of the BOPEU president.
“It is plainly clear that such a decision was taken by reason of the adoption of the report; in the result it is completely denied that the secondment of the President is unlawful as alleged”. BOPEU also furnished the Court with documents showing the approval by the CEC of the President’s secondment.
The minutes evidencing such approval were also annexed for the Court. “It is completely denied that there has been a violation of article 53.2 of the constitution on account of the fact that the payments, which is the subject of the applicant’s contention are budgeted for by the finance committee. In terms of process after the budget has been prepared by the finance committee it is submitted to National Office Bearers (NOB) for consideration comments and any additional input.
Following NOB’s comments and approvals the proposed budget is submitted to NEC, which includes the applicants for consideration, comments, additions and or subtractions as they may deem appropriate. A copy of the NEC minutes evidencing the approval for recommendation to Central Executive Committee (CEC) are annexed hereto and marked B4. It is significant to note that the person who proposed the approval of the budget is the 5th Applicant (Motswaledi Monaiwa) and seconded by Emmanuel Tlale, this appears clearly from annexure B4”.
On the secondment of the Treasurer General, also contested by their accusers as unlawful, BOPEU told the Court that the treasurer had been on secondment since 2016, and a copy of the letter of her secondment attached in the Court papers.
“In terms of the collective labour agreements the secondment are renewed annually. At all material time hereto the 2nd Applicants were members of NEC. It is therefore disingenuous of the Applicants to claim that they did not know of how, whether or not she is remunerated”.