With just less then a week, the much anticipated Babereki Investments’ (BI) Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for April 24, 2021 in Palapye is in jeopardy as rivals at Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) continue to battle it out in court.
While it was expected that preparations for the AGM were in full swing, it seems that such is not the case as the rival factions this week appeared in court battling an urgent application filed by Olefile Monakwe’s faction. The faction is praying among others issues that Masego Mogwera be removed from BI instantly while the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) deals with her for what the faction claims is failure to manage the company prudently.
The case comes after the rival camps’ respective general secretaries, Topias Marenga and Kaboyaone Sedimo each submitted lists for the AGM, prompting a question as who has the singular honor to submit the list of members of the National Executive Committee to attend the meeting. When the hearing of the matter commenced before Justice Chris Gabanagae on Wednesday, the court was forced to postpone to April 20, 2021 after Marenga brought a joinder application to the proceedings.
Marenga together with Tambona Khuwa Jopi, Beltos Ralebante, Mothusi Mojela, Rakola Gilbert, Joseph Kasorere Kasorere, Lilian Motswakgotleng want to be joined in the proceedings as respondents.
The parties agreed on Wednesday that the Court will hear the joinder application first, which will in turn further direct how the main matter will proceed. In the main application BOPEU is cited as the applicants while NBFIRA, Mogwera, Martin Gabobake, Tlhabologo Galekhutle and BI are respondents.
However, Marenga and seven others cited in the joinder application are of the view that
“The counter application as filed seeks the court’s direction as to which of the two lists is the proper legitimate list,” said Marenga in the founding affidavit.
Marenga said for the court to determine their rights in respect of why the list he submitted for AGM, it is important that they be given an opportunity to appear before the court as excluded persons in order to place their version of events and justify why they are entitled to as a matter of law to attend the meeting .
“On account of the fact that, the decision as per the counter application will have an adverse effect on our rights to attend the scheduled meeting,” he argues. He further states that the applicants in the joinder have a direct and substantial interest in any order that may be granted in the main proceedings in so far as it relates to the lists submitted by the factions for the AGM. He further argues that it is imperative that their rights in relation to the attendance of the AGM be ventilated in their presence and as parties to the proceedings.
He also argues that the joinder would not in any way prejudice the other faction.