In a letter dated March 28, 2020 but only delivered on September 23, 2020, Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS) has suspended controversial jazz musician, Thabang Garogwe and Afro Pop singer, Lizibo from its fold.
But the duo, especially Lizibo are not taking things lying down saying he will appeal his suspension because , the board’s time had long elapsed, he argued.
The suspension comes a few months after Naledi Customary Court dismissed a case in which Garogwe was charged with common nuisance following an altercation with COSBOTS CEO and complainant, Lesego Selotate in March.
“You are hereby informed that pending investigation and pursuant to section 5.3 of Member’s Code of Conduct, you are suspended from COSBOTS membership for an indefinite period with effect from 12 noon on March 28, 2020,” read the letter from the chairperson of the membership committee, Kopano Mantswe.
Mantswe further explained that the indefinite suspension was determined on the basis of receipt of complaints from Selotate, Onalenna Gaontebale and Letlhogonolo Makwinja, whose complaints contained information relating to the turn of events at the meeting of March 27, 2020.
The Kea Gana hitmaker is said to have on March 27, 2020 showed up at COSBOTS offices in Commerce Park in Gaborone and asked to see Selotate. After he was told that it was not possible for him to see the CEO because the latter was scheduled to attend another meeting, Garogwe with the aid of Lizibo and others, is said to have locked the COSBOTS chief in the office and seized his mobile phone. Mantswe said he finds both Garogwe and Lizibo’s conduct to be unbecoming of the ethical behaviour expected of members of COSBOTS.
Furthermore, according to the letter, both singers are suspended for inviting reporters from The Voice and The Gazette newspapers to what should
“You proceeded to introduce them as bona fide members of COSBOTS when you knew this was not correct. You permitted the unauthorized recording of the meeting, without making management aware that a recording was being made seeking their express permission to record and circulate the video,” read the letter.
Mantswe added that Garogwe made false and misleading statements about COSBOTS board in the media.
As a result of this suspension, Garogwe and Lizibo will not enjoy any benefits that include royalty payments due to them.
“You are reminded that a breach of the Code of Conduct attracts sanctions, which may included prohibitions from attending meetings of COSBOTS, suspension, termination, and or any other penalty that may be deemed appropriate by a disciplinary committee.”
Asked why the letters are only resurfacing now after all the past months, COSBOTS spokesperson Seeletso Lekgaba referred this reporter to Mantswe. Contacted for comment about backdating the letters to March Mantswe said he is bound by the charter not to say anything on the matter. He said the COSBOTS rules govern him not to discuss the issue with the media because the cases are before the Board.
For his part Garogwe said he was engaging with his team and could not say anything further concerning the contents of the letter. Lizibo said he was going to appeal the decision because the letter, which was backtracked to March, is unlawful.
The wakanaka hitmaker said the Board was not in a position to make that decision because their time in the office was over.