BLLAHWU VP2 withdraws from court case

Portia Mlilo
BLLAHWU VP: Boemo Bato

The Second Vice President of Botswana Landboard Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) Boemo Bato has withdrawn her affidavit in a case against the union.

Bato, the Union Vice President 1, Nicholas Letso Mothelesi and Treasurer General Baone Seloka filed an application challenging the renewal of the Secretary General’s contract.

Following Bato’s withdrwal from the case, Mothelesi and Seloka were expelled from the Central Executive Committee for taking the union to court and talking to media and their membership revoked.

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Mothelesi appealed and the appeals board sent the matter back to the union for re-trial. On the 24th appeals board released the verdict for Seloka confirming his dismissal.

Last Thursday, the case against Motshegwa and the union President, Thatayaone Kesebonye was before Justice Itumeleng Segopolo for arguments of its merits.

The defendants being Motshegwa and Kesebonye had proposed that the matter be settled out of court but it failed due to the conditions of the applicants.

Mothelesi and Seloka’s condition was that the union re-instate the recently fired three Regional Organisers.

According to court papers, in 2013 Motshegwa was fired from Francistown City Council and his membership with the union was terminated since he was not working for any union affiliate. CEC then appointed him on interim basis. The contract ended on the 30th of June last year.

The court heard that Kesebonye had called a special meeting on the 19th of June 2020 and proposed to retain Motshegwa but the three CEC members were against the idea. Their argument was that the SG is a non-union member and that renewal of his contract was a violation of the constitution.

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The applicants further argued that the SG has been holding the position for 10 years contrary to the constitution. At the meeting, according to the court documents, six members were present except for Motshegwa as the meeting was about him.

Kesebonye suggested that they vote since some were against his motion. Mothelesi, Seloka and Bato voted against the motion while the other two CEC members supported it.

The union President also voted forcing a 3-3 tie and used the casting vote to break it in favour of Motshegwa, an act that the concerned applicants believe is against the constitution as the president was not supposed to vote twice.

It is said the decision was made to protect the president’s interest and friendship as it has been established that the two are the directors of Leiso Projects, a company registered in December 2019.

In their response the defendants filed a new five year contract of Motshegwa effecting 1st of July with new clauses.

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The new clauses are that if he terminates the contract he should give the employer a three-month notice or pay for a month.

In the event he is fired, the employer should give him three months notice and pay him for the remaining years of the agreement.

In the old contract the SG was entitled to 25 leave days while in the new one it is 30 days per annum.

Judge Segopolo will deliver the ruling on the 7th of June.

DEFENDANT: Motshegwa
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