Legal woes seem to pile up for the embattled mine and its former directors and management following the closure of the operations in October last year.
The initial court case registered by Norilsk Nickel against Government is still ongoing while a new twist in the matter has emerged. It has emerged that the Russians have cast the net wide by suing the mine’s former directors and executive management over the Nkomati deal. BCL Provisional Liquidator on the other hand has joined the fray as he seeks justice for the victims of the recent mine fatalities.
Dixon-Warren says he has engaged with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) so as to provide all the necessary information for the DPP to take any action considered necessary against the company or specific individuals identified as being responsible with respect to all recent mine fatalities. Reporting on workplace safety in the BCL Liquidation report he recently released, Dixon-Warren says a series of multiple fatality accidents occurred prior to liquidation. “There were fourteen fatalities at the mine since 2014 and this is unacceptably high,” he said.
He reveals startling findings by the investigators on the recent mine fatalities. Singling out the South East Extension (SEE) incident that killed four people, the liquidator says the findings of the independent assessment points out the root cause of the failure of the General Man Transport (GMT) to be failure to comply with legal requirement and inadequate maintenance apart from the specific technical failure of the rope.
The Provisional Liquidator’s report indicates that the incident in question was a result of a GMT 26 degree decline winder rope parting, sending the uncontrolled man carriage hurtling down the decline, killing four of the 10 people who were on the carriage while others were severely injured. “Rope safety factors of 10x breaking strength are required for this type of winder along with the destructive and non-destructive rope tests which are a statutory requirement,” says Warren.
According to the report, the investigators found that there was a failure to hold people accountable, inadequate processes to review and undertake shaft repair and the winder rope and failure by senior management to inspect legal record books. It states that there is no evidence that the engineer or manager had inspected or read the record books.
The report further reveals that the reporting structures “exacerbated the situation as the engineer, who was responsible for the safety of personnel was ranked below and reported to the mine captain, who is responsible for production.” Dixon-Warren says in the report that this is poor practice and outside of industry norm. He reveal that it is understood that the mine captains were under significant pressure to improve production which he says may have resulted in shortcuts being taken particularly with regard to safety.
Dixon-Warren’s report states that during the period under which the mines have been under Care and Maintenance, a number of chronic mining and technical failings have been identified and were well outside of industry norm. “These not only made the mine unprofitable but more seriously placed the lives of those on the mine at risk,” he said.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.