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BOPEU Factions To Know Fate On May 23

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
LOBATSE: Judgement in the case in which two Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) factions are fighting against each other will be delivered on May 23.

This follows a situation in which the wars at the union’s business arm played themselves in the open last week at Lobatse High Court.  Attorney Gabriel Kanjabanga representing one of the factions led by Olefile Monakwe pleaded with the court to discharge the temporary interdict against his client granted a fortnight ago. He said the suit was not properly before court.

He opposed a rule nisi order granted by Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe of Lobatse High Court a fortnight ago reinstating for union for deposed officials.  The order directed that the applicants in the matter Masego Mogwera, Martin Gabobake, Thabologo Galekhutle and legal advisor, Otto Itumeleng who were recently dismissed from Babereki Investments board by Monakwe and other members of BOPEU National Executive Committee (NEC) be reinstated until court gives final verdict on the matter.

On return date, the respondents were to show course why the interdict could not be made final.  Kanjabanga argued that the applicants had no authority to act on behalf of the company because they were no longer its directors.

“The 2nd to 4th applicant have no authority to deal on behalf of the applicant 1st. If they came to this court seeking their directorship to be restored, then they can’t say they are here on behalf of Babereki Investments. That’s invalid. At the time these proceedings were lodged, they had no authority to act on behalf of the 1st applicant because they had been removed from its directorship,” he said.

On another note, he pointed out that in so far as urgency is concerned, the applicants had not told the court

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what harm they stood to suffer. The applicants wanted to protect their interests more than that of the company they claim to represent, he said. He further argued that the matter should be referred to arbitration because there was a dispute between the shareholders and directors.

Yet another plea was that the court order should not be confirmed because it was crafted in a way that restricted the power of the shareholders.

“There is a problem regarding the enforceability of the order. It restricts the power of the shareholders from exercising their mandate. The rule nisi must be discharged,” he argued. On the contrary, Dutch Leburu for the applicants argued that the decision by the respondent to disappoint the applicants as directors of Babereki investments should be nullified because it was unlawful. In his view, directors could only be removed at a shareholders meeting, extra ordinary shareholders meeting and or annual meeting convened by the Board.

“And that meeting has to quorate at 50.1%, but there is no record of such meeting of the Board and that it quorated. That meeting has to be chaired by the chair and affected by members of the Board, Members of NEC and Board trustees,” he argued.

He argued that the statement purporting that a decision to remove the applicants from the Board was a meeting of the NEC of BOPEU could not be said to be a meeting of the B of Babereki Investments.

“We are entitled to the confirmation of r nisi issued on May 3 and of May 9 to be made final,” he argued.



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