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Miners Workers Unions expels 15 ‘dissident’ members

  • NEC members accused of corruption and maladministration
     
  •  Register of Societies entangled in the wars for favouritism
     
  • Dissidents de-campaigned and expelled from the union  
     
  • Concerned members wants the NEC  removed from office


At least 15 union members serving in various structures have been either suspended or expelled from the Botswana Mine Workers Union (BMWU) as a bitter war involving the leadership and dissenting members over accusations of corruption, maladministration and violation of the constitution ensues.

The casualties to the dissidents come on the back of the failed urgent application to interdict the leadership that was elected at last year’s congress from holding office.

According to Bophuthu Goshetwang, one of the leading figures in a court application, the leadership of Mine Workers Unions has been disregarding the union’s constitution and failed to account for the finances of the union.

Internal bickering in the union has lingered since 2008, but a resolution for the parties to find a common ground has not been found. Prior to the court action the concerned members of the union wrote to the Registrar of Trade Unions seeking to interdict the new leadership from being registered but failed as well.

The failed application had sought the court to suspend registration of the new leadership and for their recognition to be held in abeyance pending review proceedings on the validity of their registration. They also wanted Fincraft (Pty) Ltd, interdicted from selling shares owned by the union pending finalisation of investigations into the conduct of some in the union leadership.

The applicants further wanted the court also to determine whether the instructions issued by Jack Tlhagale, the union’s president to sell the shares was in accordance with the Resolution the Delegate Congress held on the 26th September 2015.

With dissidents accusing the leadership for maladministration, they also wanted the court to interdict them from assuming office as members of the NEC pending investigations into their eligibility or fitness to hold office and disciplinary action against them for conduct that brings harm to the union.  

The applicants argued that the instruction by the leadership to Fincraft (Pty) Ltd to sell shares of the union without necessary mandate thereto had financial exposure of P2.3 million affecting the net value of the Union.

The applicants also accused the union leadership of manipulating minutes of the Delegate’s Congress purporting to be a true reflection of what transpired, yet the contents are inaccurate and not subject to the normal process of approval enunciated in the Constitution of the union.

The court bid however failed after being dismissed on grounds that it was not urgent. The matter will drag on going forward.

Meanwhile eight members have been suspended and seven expelled from the union. Goshetwang was expelled in absentia, after the union failed to send a request to BCL mine for him to be excused from work to appear at the Disciplinary Committee.

Goshetwang told this publication that it was a ploy to get him removed by hook or crook. The DC accused Goshetwang of blatantly disregarding the union internal dispute resolution mechanism when he and others launched an application before court that reportedly led to the union losing out on a major investment at Mmegi Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, resulting in reduction of union shares from 28 percent to 8 percent.

“Anyone who voices his concern about the affairs of the the unions is punished or de-campaigned,” said Goshetwang, who also stated that Tlhagele has now assumed total control of the union and rule by iron fist.

“The union leadership over the pass years have been failing to submit annual returns to the Registrar of Trade Unions, and auditors are being told what do.”

Tlhagele, who is appealing the expulsion from the union has also been shown the door from his job at BCL. Sources close to the developments indicate that the union leadership have convened with BCL management to ensure that he loses his job.

Mbiginyane Ramokate, who Goshetwang describes as member of Tlhagale cohort, wrote to Goshetwang in June informing him that his expulsion appeal was not concluded by the General Council (GC) because members raised issues which required further particulars to be provided to determine his fate.

The GC is expected to be held again next month where Goshetwang’s fate and others who have been suspended and expelled will be decided.

Goshetwang also point a finger of blame at the Registrar of Trade Unions for failing to invoke his powers by launching an investigation into the affairs of BMWU despite compelling evidence presented before his office.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

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.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

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.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

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.

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