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Mamataz to cough up P11.6m taken from Babereki

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Ernest Molome
The Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) commercial wing, Babereki Investments has won a P11.6 million plus interest suit against Ernest Molome and his company Mamataz Enterprises (Pty) Ltd.

Gaborone High Court Judge, Chris Gabanagae recently ordered Mamataz Enterprises and Molome to jointly pay the sum of P11,604,000 plus 10% interest from the date of disbursement to date of payment as excess money Babereki Investments paid back in 2016.

The court also ordered the defendants to pay the cost of suit on attorney and own client scale.

The amount is said to be payment for the money, which was erroneously paid to Molome’s company as commission fee for services, rendered between September and November 2016.

BOPEU, represented by its then executive chairman Andrew Motsamai, had in September 2016 entered into an agreement with Mamataz to raise capital for the union’s commercial wing.

The funds raised were to be used for growing the micro lending and asset management businesses of BOPEU, held under the Babereki Investments. 

In the contract signed by Motsamai and Molome, the parties agreed that Babereki Investments should pay a three percent facilitation fee of the capital raised to Mamataz. 

BOPEU’s case was that from the targeted P1.2 billion only P50 million was secured but strangely Mamataz was paid about P13 million. 

Babereki Investments was of the view that it was robbed of P11.6 million because the signed contract stipulated clearly that the three percent was to be paid on capital raised.

According to the union from the secured P50 million Mamataz was entitled to P1.5 million that was secured from Botswana Life. 

Babereki Investments’ bone of contention was that the payment of the amount was not based on the contract or for the service rendered but was done fraudulently. It also argued that this was a

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result of a conspiracy to defraud the company as it was made without any entitlement whatsoever by Molome and Mamataz to such funds. 

But the defendants alleged that they were entitled to a fee of three percent on the P1.2 billion raised as the invoices that were sent to the plaintiff clearly indicated the basis upon which the fee was being raised.

They also argued that the plaintiff followed its internal approval process in making payments to the defendant. 

However, Gabanagae said the defendants failed to place evidence before court that indeed they raised an amount of P1.2 billion. 

“There is no evidence before court to prove that an amount of P1.2 billion was raised on behalf and received by Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd. The letter and email attached by the defendants from the alleged investors confirms payment of P50 million only and nothing else,” said Gabanagae.

He said the defendants’ allegation of P1.2 billion remains just that because it was never proven. He said having raised only P50 million; the defendants were entitled to three percent of that amount. 

He said the defendants were aware of their agreement but went ahead in invoicing for an amount they did not qualify for. He ruled that the payment amounting to P13,104,000 was well in excess by P11,604,000.

“I conclude that it was made on the basis of fraud. It was made without just cause. It was made without entitlement hence the company by way of a resolution instituted a process of recovery of the money. The plaintiff’s claim can be easily ascertained,” Gabanagae said in his ruling.



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