Following a High Court decision which directed that a BIUST whistle- blower did not act out of any malice, the university has since lodged an appeal against the order. The case emanates from a court battle between the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and its suspended employee , Dr Malatsi Galani, who is also a Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) shop steward.
Dr Galani who is serving suspension was dragged before court by his employer after a damning press conference by BOSETU where it made his case public. For his part, Dr Galani says he never revealed any confidential information but instead made the union aware of his situation and why he may fail to execute his shop steward duties.
The case was heard at the Lobatse High Court after BIUST filed an urgent appeal to interdict Galani from sharing any more information the university deems confidential to any third parties.
According to court papers filed today, BIUST believes the Lobatse High court judge erred in directing that disclosure of confidential information was protected under the whistle blowing provisions without affording the parties an opportunity to make representations.
“The court quo erred and misdirected itself in finding that the disclosure of the confidential information by the respondent was one protected under the whistleblowing provisions,” said BIUST.
BIUST further believes that “The disclosure of the confidential information did not meet the requirement of section 4 of the whistle blowing Act in that the disclosure was not made in good faith and the disclosure was not made to an authorised person.”
In the appeal papers, BIUST further states that the court below erred in finding that confidential information was already in the public domain and cannot be interdicted. “Whilst the confidential information has already been leaked to the Botswana sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), the respondent still has the ability to leak the confidential information to other third parties,” said BIUST.
“In his ability as a council member, the respondent has access to other confidential information which he can still leak not to BOSETU but other third parties . The court a quo erred and misdirected by failing to find that the disclosure of confidential information by the respondent to BOSETU was not protected by privilege,” BIUST further stated.
The case is set to appear in court.