Former Human Resource Manager at Statistics Botswana Marang Teisi is having the last laugh in her long running battle with her employer – Statistics Botswana – after she was dismissed from work in 2016.
The Court of Appeal has ordered that Teisi be reinstated to her position, with Statistics Botswana bearing the costs of the case.
The judgement was delivered recently by Court of Appeal Justices Monametsi Gaongalelwe alongside Lord Hamilton and Leatile Dambe.
Marang Teisi was fired in 2016 by the then Statistician General. Annah Majelantle after she was convicted by a disciplinary committee panel on charges of leaking confidential information to third parties, after a draft she had prepared was used by former MP James Mathokgwane in Parliament.
Justice Gaongalelwe in the judgement states that Majelantle appeal is against the decision of the High Court which affirmed findings and a recommendation made by a Disciplinary Panel.
The Disciplinary Panel had on the basis of its findings made a recommendation that the Appellant Teisi be dismissed from employment and she was indeed subsequently dismissed.
“The background to the matter is that at all material times hitherto Appellant was in the employ of Statistics Botswana; A statutory body corporate, who is 1st Respondent. In April 2014 officers of Directorate of Corruption and Economics Crime (DCEC) commenced investigations concerning some activities within the first respondent,” reads Justice Monametsi judgement.
The judgement continued to stipulate that it turned out later that a manuscript document authored by Teisi found its way to the media and to a Member of Parliament one James Mathokgwane, hence the leaking of this document which resulted in disciplinary charges being laid against Teisi.
“Initially two charges were leveled against her, one was ‘’Improper disclosure of information in respect of the affairs of Statistics Botswana’’ and the second charge was “Abuse of office by accessing confidential information for private gain”, Gaongalelwe underscored on the judgement.
Court of Appeal panelists questioned the credibility of the circumstance under which Teisi was dismissed from work contending that the Disciplinary Panel found her not guilty on the second charge but found her guilty in respect of the charge of improper disclosure of information to third parties. It was on the basis of the latter verdict that Appellant was dismissed from work.
COA dismisses SB argument
The judgement contends that in the answering affidavit SB as respondent does not refute the assertion that they did not get a copy of statement that had been delivered to the DCEC, instead the respondent says it was incumbent upon appellant to go to get such a copy but she did not do that.
The judgment depicts that of the answering affidavit under paragraph 17 reads;
“If she really wanted to exonerate herself from such accusations she would have gladly gone to DCEC and obtained a copy of her statement and perhaps things would be different now”.
Justice Gaongalelwe charged that all in all respondents’ case was that leaked document had nothing to do with DCEC investigations but that the appellant had written it solely for the purpose of giving it to the media and to the MP Mathokgwane.
“There is a glaring lacuna in relation to this assertion. Since it is common cause that the panel did not have the statement made to DCEC it is hard to conceive how it would have concluded that the leaked statement had nothing to do with that one. The panel had simply compared the leaked statement with nothing to come to its conclusion on the point”.
SB staff V SB in court over salary discrepancy
Some of Statistics Botswana employees are still pursuing court case against SB through their union representative BOPEU over the disparity in the pay structure.
The court judgement that this publication is possession of contends that with regards to the matter in a case whereby the employees doing the same job at the same level and holding similar qualifications are remunerated differently be and is hereby declared unlawful.
The issue of contention is that persons hired as Senior Statistians and the ranks below are not remunerated equally as other counterparts: in fact some discrepancies are as high as P20 000 differences. That is persons working and doing the same job are remunerated such that the difference is well over P20 000, some junior staff earn a significantly superior salaries to their immediate supervisors.
“They will tell you, and eventfully the High Court, through their lawyer Mr Tafila, that they will solve this salary discrepancy by coming up with a new pay structure, ignoring the very idea that currently, employees are disproportionately remunerated and this gives rise to back pays. It is worth noting that Statistics Botswana has since rectified the salaries of Managers and Directors only,” said an employee who is affected by the salary disparity issue.