The Monitor :: Union Underdogs Win
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Last Updated
Friday 20 September 2019, 16:30 pm.
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Union Underdogs Win

Two members of the University of Botswana Academic and Senior Support Staff Union (UBASSSU) clinched victory over union chairperson, Kaelo Molefhe at the High Court.
By Goitsemodimo Kaelo Mon 27 May 2019, 13:09 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Union Underdogs Win








Their victory came after Molefhe sued the duo for organising to convene an extra-ordinary congress to elect new leadership.

The union National Executive Committee (NEC) led by chairperson Molefhe had applied to the court seeking an interdict against chairperson aspirant, Motsomi Ndala Marobela and Keoneng Magocha, from convening an extra-ordinary congress of the union.

The leadership was granted temporary interdict on April 15, 2019.

The squabble emerged early this year when the union held an unsuccessful Biennial Congress in March.

However, the elections could not be held, as there was an objection to whether Marobela was eligible to contest for the position of chairperson of the union.

High Court judge, Gabriel Komboni on Thursday affirmed the decision of Marobela and Magocha to issue a notice to the membership and fraternal organisations of the union, inviting them to an Extra-Ordinary Congress scheduled for April 16, whose purpose was also to elect a new committee.

Komboni said the two were entitled to convene an extra-ordinary congress because there was confusion as to whether the union NEC was available and are entitled to proceed in the manner envisaged in their notices.

He said their actions were guided by article 10 of the union’s constitution, which states that an extra ordinary congress shall be convened at the request of at least 25% of general membership stating explicitly the reasons why it is necessary to convene it.

He said although the constitution

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states that the request shall be received by the secretary general, that could not be used to stop the members from convening an extra-ordinary congress because it is just a mere conduit.

“The applicants contend that this was irregular and unlawful because the request must be received by the secretary general is unnecessary because the union’s secretary had resigned after being promoted to a management position and the applicants didn’t file a resolution of the NEC co-opting Keaoleboga Dipogiso as secretary general and there is no recording as to how that resolution was communicated to the general membership,” Kombone in his judgement said.

He said in this case, the members could not do anything but proceed in the manner they did.

 Komboni also said the NEC term had ended on the day of the Biennial Congress on March and their term could only be extended by the congress.

He found that the electoral officer had acted out of her mandate to reinstate the old committee because the constitution does not give her such powers.

“Her decision to reinstate the NEC had no legal effect because she had no authority to do that so the applicants also had no legal standing to bring this proceedings to court.

The applicant can’t hold himself as chairperson of the union. The rule nisi is therefore discharged,” he said.

Komboni’s judgement means the union currently does not have leadership.

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