multi-million Pula lawsuit and counter-claim between embattled Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) and Mamataz Enterprise (Pty) Ltd owned by Ernest Molome is yet to be allocated a judge following the departure of Justice Leatile Dambe.
Justice Dambe is headed to the Court of Appeal and is currently only handling partly heard matters. The new judge who will be allocated the case is expected to set new dates for the case. The case was initially scheduled to be heard this week on Tuesday by Justice Dambe. The union, which is currently dogged by leadership crisis, will through its commercial wing, Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd face off with Molome and his company Mamataz Enterprises (Pty) Ltd as Babereki wants to recover over P11.6 million from the latter.
The union argues that the P11.6 million was erroneously paid to Molome’s company as commission between September and November 2016. BOPEU – represented by its then Executive Chairman Andrew Motsamai, had in September 2016 entered into an agreement with Mamataz to raise capital for the union’s commercial wing.
The funds raised were to be used for growing the micro lending and asset management businesses of BOPEU, held under the Babereki conglomerate. In the contract signed by Motsamai and Molome the parties agreed that a three (3) per cent facilitation fee of the capital raised shall be paid to Mamataz by Babereki Investments. BOPEU argues that from the targeted P1.2 billion only P50 million was secured but strangely Mamataz was paid about P13 million.
The union maintains that it was robbed P11.604 million because the signed contract stipulated clearly that the 3 percent was to be paid on capital raised. According to the union from the secured P50 million Mamataz was entitled to P1.5 million. According to court papers the P50 million was secured from Botswana Life. According to Babereki the payment of the amount was not based on the contract; was not for any service rendered; was done fraudulently or a result of a conspiracy to defraud Babereki and was made without any entitlement whatsoever by Molome and Mamataz to such funds.
“The payment of P11.6 million was unlawful, alternatively illegal, alternatively fraudulent payment made to Molome and Mamataz with interest at the rate of 10 percent from the date of disbursement to the date of payment and the costs of suit,” argues Babereki. Molome has however denied owing Babereki Investment and has in turn slapped the union with a counterclaim. He argues that the union owes him a balance of about P25 million.
He pointed out that Babereki, instead of paying the entire 3 per cent of the P1.2 billion raised by them (Molome and Mamataz) of which only P50 million was drawn down, which is about P36 million, only paid P11. 604 million leaving a balance of P25 million which is due and owed.