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Suspended Masame allegedly defrauded BOPEU

STAFF WRITER
Masame PIC: KENENDY RAMOKONE
Suspended Botswana Public Employees Union’s (BOPEU) second deputy president, Ogaufi Matilda Masame has been exposed as a fraudulent character at an ongoing Court of Appeal (CoA) case.

She allegedly fleeced the union of thousands of pula and fraudulently demanded some more in the same week she participated in a failed coup that attempted to overthrow BOPEU president, Masego Mogwera and her fellow national office bearers.

Skeletons tumbling out of the closet suggest that things are not looking good for the suspended woman with angelic  facial features, who had been posing as one of the union saviours until the CoA was furnished with the scandalous revelations in the case heard by Justice Singh Walia on Thursday morning.

Mogwera has now laid bare the shenanigans that expose the suspended second deputy president, as a fraudulent character who milked BOPEU of thousands of pula during the same week she turned around to plot a coup at a National Executive Committee meeting on July 28, 2018.

Court papers before the CoA reveal how Masame fleeced BOPEU of hotel accommodation and per diem for an overseas union trip that she never attended to, but behaved all along as someone who travelled. 

She was scheduled to speak at an international conference in Seoul, South Korea, she had allegedly been quoted as saying. The conference was purportedly scheduled to run from July 23-27 and a return ticket, a copy of which had since been shared with the court, was in her names.

According to the BOPEU court papers, it turned out that Masame never left Gaborone, but chose close-by luxurious Cresta Lodge with its dark lit walkways in the evenings and a butler to usher you in. 

All the time she fraudulently claimed that she was overseas, and even

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demanded more money claiming she had run out of cash and was in distress, out there.

However, those who knew her to have flown for the 18th International Labour Relations Congress were surprised to see her leading the coup on July 28 at Cresta. She later manufactured a lie saying she had to come back early from the Korea event to attend to her unwell husband. 

That was before BOPEU’s investigations unmasked her as a fraudster who never left Gaborone and was based at Cresta Lodge most of the time enjoying the per diem and still demanding more cash to whet her voracious appetite.

Masame is also revealed in BOPEU court papers as the one who presided over the July 28 NEC meeting, despite the meeting having been adjourned, following the State of Emergency announcement by delegated chairperson, Martin Gabobake, who is BOPEU’s first deputy president.  Masame is also cited as the figure that stole BOPEU’s audio recording device during the chaos.  According to the court papers, a letter was written to her instructing her to return the audio device, but she refuses to hand it over.

The contents of the same audio recording  appear to have made their way into the courts as annexure, but the audio recording evidence is being vehemently opposed by Mogwera in the court papers, arguing that the recording device was fraudulently acquired, while the opposing team on the other hand claims it was given to them by BOPEU’s administration manager.

The said administration manager, however, has since disposed of an affidavit distancing herself from any involvement.



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