NALCGPWU members to lose out as SACOS liquidates

Kabelo Dipholo
BRING BACK OUR MONEY: Plotz and Innocent

*Over 5000 members to lose millions in subscription fees *There’s nothing we can do! – Union’s CEO

Thousands of National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCGPWU) members are likely to lose eight years of their subscription fees to a cooperative reportedly recommended by their union.

Savings and Credit Cooperative Association (SACOS), who since 2011 has recruited over 5, 000 Manual Workers Union members, is undergoing liquidation.

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According to the Department for Cooperative Development Director, Ojang Tsheko, it was resolved at a recent meeting that a liquidation process should begin.

“After an audit it became clear that the cooperative had no money and due process had to follow,” Tsheko told The Voice, adding that an interim committee was then elected to find out just how much the cooperative is worth and what can be salvaged to be shared amongst creditors.

“We can only know what will happen to members after the findings of the interim committee,” he added grimly.

Meanwhile, NALCGPWU CEO, Johnson Motshwarakgole described the fact that thousands stand to lose the money they invested for so long as ‘a pity’.

“Most of these people don’t have much and they had invested this money hoping to use it in future. Now they are likely to lose it all!” Motshwarakgole said in a telephone interview.

The veteran unionist stressed that while he empathises with union members there’s nothing they can do.

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“Unfortunately a cooperative is an independent entity and it is such a pity that these people are going to lose their money,” he said.

His words did not go down well with some angry NALCGPWU members, who put the blame squarely on the union leadership for introducing the cooperative to them.

“SACOS was introduced to us by our union leaders. They told us it was a good investment. We subscribed and were able to get gadgets such as laptops and cell phones in a more affordable way,” claimed one furious member, Mothusi Plotz.

Plotz and his mate Mothusi Innocent told The Voice that payments ranged between P50 and P300 depending on one’s ability to pay.

“We were told that we’d be shareholders and through the advice of Manual Workers Union thousands of us joined,” reiterated Innocent.

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He claimed the honeymoon lasted for only three years, by which time the airtime that was supposed to be credited every month became erratic.

“We started asking questions, and the Francistown Branch Manager Shima Mosimanegape sent us from pillar to post. This thing dragged on until in 2018 when without warning they closed their Francistown office,” Plotz said.

He further claimed they wrote letters demanding their money back and were yet to receive a response when the unthinkable happened.

NALCGPWU CEO: Motshwarakgole

“In April this year SACOS stopped deducting our monthly subscriptions. This made us suspicious!”

Their sentiments were shared by yet another worried duo of Daniel Mere and Bapaphi Fani who also wanted to know what was happening with SACOS.

The Voice contacted Mosimangape who rubbished claims made by the quartet before directing all questions to the Director.

“They should have attended the AGM in Kanye instead of dragging my name in the mud. I’m just an employee here,” charged Mosimanegape.

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This is not the first time that SACOS finds itself in the news for the wrong reasons.

In 2011 the cooperative was swindled P3.4 million by a broker in Orapa. In the matter that was investigated by Serious Crime Squad, SACOS had attempted to buy Bank of Botswana certificates as a form of investment and engaged a certain broker who in turn made away with the money.

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