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Sullied Deaf Society Boss To Return

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
After enjoying a monthly salary of more than P20,000 for over 20 months while on suspension, Botswana Society for the Deaf (BSD) executive director Orapeleng Mokgosi is to be re-instated.

This has raised concern amongst stakeholders, as they feel uncomfortable working with her as her matter is yet to be concluded at the courts.

“This is very disturbing, we might end up losing sponsors and potential sponsors. The board chairperson is amongst those who have always wanted her to be back as they worked together for a long time,” a source said.

“The board should have long taken action against her despite the matter being before the courts.”

Mokgosi was in 2017 charged with stealing from her employer. Surprisingly, since the date of the incident when she was still a junior officer, Mokgosi has risen to the helm of the society. 

The 54-year-old Mokgosi appeared before Magistrate Mompati Taolo of the South Regional Magistrate’s Court last week charged with two counts of stealing by servant.

Investigations conducted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) revealed that Mokgosi, in the period between November and December 2007 in Gaborone stole two cheques amounting to P2,383 belonging to her employer, the BSD, by converting the said cheques into her personal use. The cheques came into her possession by virtue of her employment. BSD employees have on numerous occasions complained of maladministration by the leadership leading to a strike at some point.

Salaries could not be paid and fingers were pointed at Mokgosi amongst others as possible culprits who were alleged to misuse donor funds.

In 2014, an audit report from the then ministry of education and skills development that was addressed to the BSD, contained allegations of maladministration which included falsification of records, utilisation of funds for items initially not meant for and lack of cooperation from the centre’s management to avail data needed for audit.

The ministry pours millions of pula into the

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organisation for running its schools and other programmes.

Contacted for comment, Mokgosi said she was not aware that she was re-instated.

“It is news to me. The last I heard from the society was in September 2017 when I got suspended. I am not even aware that there is a new board,” she said.

Mokgosi confirmed that she has been getting her salary monthly and that her court case is still ongoing. She said her five-year contract ends in 2021.

The Monitor has been reliably informed that the new board has met and took the decision to re- instate Mokgosi with immediate effect. Some members of staff were informed of the decision at a meeting on Friday. Acting executive director, Kabelo Seadimo could not be dragged to discuss the issue. He said he was not aware of Mokgosi’s looming return and stated that only the board could be questioned.

One member of the board that exited in May told this publication that the board had resolved to re-instate Mokgosi before it was dissolved.

The member said the board felt that they had initially planned to wait until her court case was completed. He said, however, they resolved to reinstate her because the case was dragging for too long.

Efforts to get a comment from Kerebotswe Khulela who had been the BSD board chairperson until May this year proved futile as she referred enquiries to the new board chairperson.

The publication wanted to establish why the board had not taken any action besides suspending Mokgosi.

The society, owned by the Botswana Council for the Disabled, is an NGO and a non-profit making institution that provides nursery and primary education centres for hearing impaired children aged between three and 18 years in the country.



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