The Monitor :: Mogwera Holds Fort At BOPEU, For Now
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Last Updated
Thursday 20 September 2018, 12:14 pm.
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Mogwera Holds Fort At BOPEU, For Now

The president of Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Masego Mogwera and her team will continue holding the fort at the union despite their suspension while the interim committee figures their next move.
By Mpho Mokwape Mon 20 Aug 2018, 14:06 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Mogwera Holds Fort At BOPEU, For Now








Mogwera who was suspended from the BOPEU office together with the national executive committee (NEC) and refusing to voluntarily vacate offices has survived another day in the office as the interim committee has failed to convince the court to move the matter on an urgent basis.

Mogwera together with senior members of the committee, including general secretary Topias Marenga were suspended from their positions at the BOPEU NEC meeting held at Cresta Lodge.

They were suspended for failure to observe articles 53.1 and 53.2 respectively, which speak of the secondment and remuneration of office bearers (president and treasurer general) as well as sanctioning the implementation of the new BOPEU structure.

In turn they refused to vacate their seats on grounds that only the congress can remove them, so Mogwera declared a state of emergency and suspended the interim committee, forcing them to take the legal route.

On Friday, Lobatse High Court Judge, Godfrey Nthomiwa agreed with Mogwera that the matter brought before him to forcefully remove her and the NEC from office was not urgent and that it was not brought properly before him.

The judge dismissed the application on urgency despite the interim committee having indicated that the union president was suspended in order for investigations to be carried without interference.

“The matter is not urgent, points in limine are upheld with costs and the applicants are not entitled to the relief of the interim interdict they want. The matter is not properly brought before court by a way of motion proceedings instead of being brought by a way of action,” declared the judge.

Nthomiwa said because of the suspension of the applicants, they could not bring proceedings on behalf of BOPEU in so far as the change made in the composition of the NEC was

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in violation of legal framework governing Trade Unions.

He explained it was on that basis that the applicants lacked the necessary locus standi to bring the current proceedings for and on behalf of BOPEU.

The applicants could, on their own seek the relief in so far as they relate to them personally but not those that seek to enforce the rights of BOPEU before complying with the relevant legislation relating to registration of members.

Meanwhile, the interim committee that includes acting president Zibani Philemon, first deputy president Ogaufi Masame, treasurer general Mosalagae Tlhako and Motswaledi Monaiwa who wanted their legitimacy in the office upheld by the court are unfazed by the ruling though a bit disappointed.

One of the interim committee members, Masame, told The Monitor that it was unfortunate that they were dismissed on the urgency part.

However, she made it clear that the court has not entirely dismissed the case but it was only on the basis of no urgency meaning they could still bring the matter in normal court proceedings.

“It does not mean that we have lost the matter. It just means that the judge found that it was not urgent, which is just unfortunate,” she said.

In their arguments in court, Mogwera and her team accused the interim committee of a coup.

On the other hand, the committee accused Mogwera and her team for helping themselves to the funds that belongs to members of the union without any approval,

They wanted court to intervene in removing Mogwera so that investigations could continue while they carry the fort.

Both parties who have suspended each other are fighting to see who is eligible to hold the fort of the union

Dutch Leburu represented the president and team while Paul Muzimo was for the interim committee.

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