Lesetedi Decides Monakwe, Sedimo Fate, Appeals Today

Rush Sedimo
Rush Sedimo

The Court of Appeal judge, Justice Isaac Lesetedi will today deliver a judgement in three appeal matters filed by Olefile Monakwe and Rash Sedimo in what will effectively put to finality their fate.

Lesetedi’s judgement will put to rest all matters concerning Monakwe and Sedimo as president and secretary-general respectively of the Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU). This comes soon after the High Court’s Justice Mercy Garekwe restored Masego Mogwera and Topias Marenga into office as president and secretary-general of BOPEU respectively in her long-anticipated ruling.

Monakwe in particular has moved two courts of appeal applications, one challenging Garekwe’s ruling and the second, an application for expediting the appeal, as well as an application for consolidation of all his appeals as one matter.

Monakwe also seeks a stay of execution of Justice Garekwe’s ruling. He has brought the appeal against Garekwe’s judgement and the application for consolidation of his appeal cases citing himself as the president of BOPEU.

It is this claim of a BOPEU president, which was attacked vigorously last week by Mogwera’s attorney Dutch Leburu.

He (Leburu) argued that Monakwe had no legal standing to bring the applications as a BOPEU president since he had lost those powers as soon as Garekwe’s judgement passed. Equally, the panel of three judges’ judgement last November made their various pronouncements regarding Monakwe’s fate as a usurper of power.

Attorney Leburu argued that continuing to cite himself as president, Monakwe was not only contemptuous but his actions were now tantamount to self-help. Leburu said Monakwe seemed to have awarded himself ‘the stay’ even before the courts of law could decide his fate. Leburu further argued that the favourable ruling for Mogwera was meant to be enjoyed from the moment of the judgement while Monakwe and Sedimo make their appeals in their individual capacity far from office. However, Leburu said, it had been the other way round as Monakwe and his faction had literally used bouncers to restrain the other party from entering and taking charge at the BOPEU offices.

Leburu further said Monakwe was not rightfully before the court to move any of the two appeals as an individual or in his official capacity since he had waived his rights when he chose not to be party to but a spectator witness during the case that was heard by Justice Garekwe.

Leburu also argued that since Monakwe and Sedimo do not have the standing in law to move the appeal applications, it follows that BOPEU, which Monakwe and Sedimo purport to act for, cannot be said to be rightfully before the appeals court. He said this is because it had been dragged there by entities who do not have the rightful standing, making all the applications defective in attorney Leburu’s arguments.

Meanwhile, last Wednesday, Justice Zein Kebonang allowed the rule nisi that he had awarded the Monakwe faction to transact at the union’s bank account at Standard Chartered to operate despite opposition from Mogwera and Marenga.

Justice Kebonang told attorney Leburu that he should have brought the application without noticing the other parties, since by bringing the matter as a notice of motion then the rules demand that the other parties should be given a 24-hour notice before the matter can be argued.

Although he didn’t put it down in writing in his ruling on Wednesday evening, Kebonang did acknowledge to the parties that the conclusion of the matters before Appeals Court judge, Justice Lesetedi will render anything regarding the case before him irrelevant. Justice Lesetedi had promised the parties the ruling by last Friday or today.

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