In what turned out to be a comical case of errors, the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Skills Development issued a subpoena against International Aviation Solution (IAS) school’s director Teezzarh Seduke, and demanded his presence within 18 hours since it was served.
The subpoena demanded Seduke to bring to the scheduled meeting of September 15, 2020, the student files and logbooks that are believed to be a subject of a payment dispute between the school and Ministry of Tertiary Education, Reach, Science and Technology (MTERST).
In flexing its muscles, the Committee chaired by MP Wynter Mmolotsi went straight to state that it had no interest in the cause of the academy’s challenges to complete the students’ training and therefore sought for the forceful attainment of the records from Seduke’s academy. Furthermore, the Committee was solely interested in the transfer of students from IAS to other institutions, without further delay.
Given the nature of approach, the IAS lawyer, Mike Rasetshwane of Modimo and Associates, objected and stated the Committee’s failure to at the very least, apply the principles of ‘natural justice’. His argument was that the compulsion to hand over articles that the academy has lien over, is prejudicial to its clients’ rights, especially as their side had never been heard by the Committee.
Taking it as a gross challenge of their power, MP Caterpillar Hikuama jumped in and proclaimed that the lawyer may not address the Committee and may only advise the client, being Seduke. An exchange ensued between Rasetshwane and the parliamentarians, whose only defence was to use their power to expel the IAS lawyer from the sitting. All this played out in front of the IAS students who
The expulsion of Rasetshwane set the ground for MPs to express to Seduke, how disappointed they were to have ever been challenged, despite having summoned other CEOs and captains of industry who too had their lawyers present. Seduke’s response to the whole intention of the Committee would stonewall the proceedings, as he advised on how they had erred in summoning him, as he was not the accounting officer. The Committee would ultimately request the help of Seduke in furnishing them with the Court order that would direct the correct channels, as the company was under Judicial Management. At being excused from the session, the IAS Director expressed his dissatisfaction on how Mmolotsi had boldly stated that despite declaring the session as a judicial process, the Committee was not interested in the background or merit of the matter. He pleaded for a fair approach in affording IAS to make submissions, just as the Parliamentary Committee afforded all other stakeholders, who were involved and in attendance.
Reached for comment, Seduke said: “I know justice will prevail in the end, even if it is at the expense of my personal ridicule. No school has ever been treated this way, and I hope none ever will”.