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300 BCL employees charged with rioting

Close to 300 workers at BCL are facing rioting charges and are due to be disciplined and possibly fired. The employees allege that they have been charged because they challenged unreasonable and demeaning behaviour by their seniors. They are convinced that the charges are an orchestration to reduce the BCL working staff.

A furious BCL employee recounts what propelled and or led to the charges: “On the 6th March 2016, the cage conveying Workers deep into the mine at Number 3 Shaft was changed as routine maintenance. Afterwards, the cage experienced mechanical problems; it made a scary warbling sound on the guides/rails, there were fire sparks and there was smell of something burning and at some point the cage jammed. A strained rope and or a kink of the metal rope were also reported.”

He informed this publication that, in terms of Section 37 of the Mines, Quarries, Workers and Machinery Act, this is a dangerous occurrence which must be reported to the Inspector of Mines. He said instances of scary sounds, jamming, overloading, derailment of conveyance, over stretching of ropes and other incidents on the cage are reportable incidents to the inspector of mines. The BCL hasn't reported these to the inspector of mines and this border on criminality. Instead riggers were called to fix part of the strained rope of the cage.

When we voiced occupational health and safety concerns of boarding a dysfunctional cage, we were slapped with mischievous, unreasonable and malicious charges of "rioting behaviour leading to loss of production".

Weekend Post has gathered that the workers were simply protecting their lives by refusing to board a malfunctioning conveyer.

A Botswana Mine Workers Union representative said charging workers in this instance is not only unjustified but borders on fraud. He said the BCL management has sunk the mine into deep financial quagmire through imprudent management of resources and improper planning.

According to some of the charged employees who spoke on condition of anonymity, there's incompetence, haphazardness and negligence by some BCL managers.

“Some are involved in corruption and economic crime at a grand scale. Therefore, retrenchment is seen as part of the answer to these financial woes. The mine has therefore resorted to fraudulent retrenchment by dismissing workers over flimsy charges-anything and everything can get a worker to be dismissed,” said the employee.  

Member of Parliament for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse said he is concerned about attempts of BCL management to retrench workers fraudulently through attrition. Frivolous and vexatious charges have been preferred against about 300 employees mainly from number 3 Shaft. Keorapetse said the act is a criminal behaviour of dicing with death by BCL Management and it is worrying.

“The obnoxious and lackadaisical attitude of the mine management towards the Botswana Mine workers Union Selebi-Phikwe branch is also disconcerting. The mine periodically violates its Collective Labour Agreement with the unions by refusing or unreasonably delaying meetings.

‘‘The shareholders through the minister should move swiftly to deal with the crisis and fire all the incompetent managers at the mine. The charges should be withdrawn as they are just a ploy to reduce the BCL workforce,” he said.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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