Suspended Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) president Masego Mogwera has succeeded in interdicting the union leadership from conducting a disciplinary hearing against her.
Gaborone High Court Judge Chris Gabanagae ruled Tuesday that the union leadership should not convene nor hold any disciplinary hearing against Mogwera pending the final determination of the case in which she is challenging her suspension.
Justice Gabanagae also awarded costs for the suit against the Respondents led by acting union president Olefile Monakwe, Modise Ramaretlwa, Zibani Philemon, Ogaufi Masame and Mosalagae Thako.
Monakwe and some members of the Union’s National Executive Committee have had legal battles against Mogwera since they purportedly suspended her from the union and deposed her as the union’s investment arm, Babereki Investments’ Director during a meeting held on April 27, 2019.
Justice Gabanagae stated that Mogwera is a properly elected president of BOPEU, as such has a clear right to set aside on review the proceedings of the meeting of April 27, 2019 that purportedly suspended her from the union.
“In view of the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the applicant and the haste with which the applicant was called for a disciplinary hearing, I find that her apprehension of harm if the interim interdict is not granted is reasonable,” he said.
The judge also said Mogwera could not be faulted to believe that the investigations of a report that recommended a disciplinary hearing against her were meant to achieve a
“The Applicant averred that it was inconceivable that a person who was subject of her suspension can be impartial in carrying out an investigation against her within such a short space of time. I agree with her on this point,” he said.
Judge Gabanagae further said it was doubtful that if the Commission that carried out the purported investigations against Mogwera and the disciplinary committee chaired by Monakwe would dispense justice fairly.
He indicated that Mogwera has managed to demonstrate that if the disciplinary hearing was to proceed before the main application is heard and determined, she would suffer irreparable harm unless her rights were protected by means of a stay of execution.
On the other hand, the court ruled that the respondents failed to demonstrate what prejudice they were likely to suffer if the stay of execution was granted.
“They have not given valid reasons why they intend to proceed with the disciplinary hearing before the main application is heard and determined. I find that the balance of convenience favours the granting of the interim interdict only as relates to the disciplinary hearing,” Judge Gabanagae ruled.