The BBS board has suspended its managing director, Pius Molefe and company secretary Sipho Showa until further notice, a decision the pair has immediately described as invalid and to be disregarded.
In a notice to the Botswana Stock Exchange this morning, BBS board chair, Pelani Siwawa-Ndai said the pair was suspended on Tuesday pending the finalisation of litigation brought against the company by Molefe and Showa.
"The stakeholders are advised that the company took a resolution on April 20, 2021 to suspend Molefe from his duties as managing director.
“Showa has similarly been suspended from his duties as head of marketing, communication and as well as company secretary.
“The company has appointed James Kamyuka as acting managing director until a further appointment can be made," reads the letter.
Siwawa-Ndai said Molefe and Showa had refused to abide by their suspensions and had written to the company indicating that they would continue reporting for duty “in defiance of a lawful order from their employer”.
“The suspended employees have taken the BBS premises and communications facilities hostage and have employed private security to refuse the board members access to BBS premises,” the board chair said.
Shortly after Siwawa-Ndai’s statement, Molefe issued a counter release saying the report of suspensions should be disregarded.
He accused the board of “pre-AGM campaigning calculated to soil our reputations and achieve a particular atmosphere ahead of the meeting of shareholders next Friday”.
“The suspensions are as invalid
“This matter is before the Industrial Court and I am optimistic that we will prevail yet again.
“Arguments by both sides in the alleged suspensions are expected to be heard by the Industrial Court in the coming week.”
Molefe, Showa and the board have crossed swords since the pair accused directors of unlawfully attempting to extend their board terms by 90 days. Five directors’ terms are due to expire before the April 30 AGM and while they intend to stand for election again, five other new nominees have been added as challengers.
Siwawa-Ndai said the board had not approved or vetted the prospective nominees “as required by the BBS board charter and King III governance standards.
“The board has thus far failed to receive satisfactory answers from Molefe and Showa as to how these names had been included in the AGM notice which was published without company’s approval,” the board chair said.
The board fired Molefe and Showa two weeks ago, then approached the High Court winning a temporary order confirming the decision. The pair successfully overturned the move at the High Court, then secured an Industrial Court interdict constraining the board from dismissing them.