As the warring factions at the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) deepen, suspended president Masego Mogwera and her team were on Friday given a lifeline after the High Court ordered that they should remain members of the Board of Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd Directors until a final determination on their dismissal case has been made.
Mogwera, together with three other Board members; Martin Gabobakwe, Tlhabologo Galekhutle and Otto Itumeleng were recently dismissed from the Board of the Union’s investment arm, Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd.
Consequently they took acting president, Olefile Monakwe to court seeking nullification of their removal from the Board. Mogwera was also recently suspended from the Union alongside secretary general, Topias Marenga but is yet to challenge her suspension.
Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe of Lobatse High Court ruled in their favour and issued an interim order for the respondent to show cause when the case returns on May 16, why a final order should not be made in that the matter is treated urgently.
Justice Ketlogetswe also directed that the decision and or communication by Monakwe seeking to dismiss or disappoint Mogwera and fellow applicants as members of the Board of Directors, was unlawful and set it (the decision) aside.
Ketlogetswe also said the respondents should show cause why a final order should not be made directing that the applicants remain members of the Board of Babereki Investments until lawfully removed in terms of the constitution
The court also ordered that the respondent and his associates, or any party claiming through him, are interdicted and restrained from interfering with Mogwera and fellow suspended colleagues in the discharge of their functions as Directors of Babereki Investments, including but not limited to access to the business premises of the company. They have also been ordered to pay costs of the suit.
The wars at one of the richest trade union’s investment company dates back to 2017 after the Board fired its then executive chairperson, Andrew Motsamai on allegations of financial impropriety caused by questionable investments and dubious transactions, which landed the company in huge debts emanating from unserviced loans.
Since then, there has never been peace within the Union leadership and its investments arm as factions are continuously fighting to take control of the organisation and its businesses.
Last year, prior to the union’s elective congress, Mogwera and some of her close allies in the National Executive Committee escaped yet another ‘coup’ when the court came to their rescue.