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Teachers fight ex-leader

by Sunday Express
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Limpho Sello

FORMER Lesotho Teachers Association (LAT) president, Mosaletsane Kulehile, has been asked to ‘show cause’ why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for alleged misconduct.

Mr Kulehile was LAT president for five years until he lost the position in January this year. He was beaten by Opotuna Mapetla to the post.

According to a letter dated 12 April 2016 written by LAT secretary general (SG) Thaabe Kulehile, the former president had two days to respond to the ultimatum.

The letter partly reads: “The Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT)…in its sitting on 8 April 2016 at 12pm, came to a resolution that you be investigated for committing certain misconducts, thereby directly hampering and contravening the aims and objectives of the union in terms of its constitution.

“You are hereby called to give out your written explanation within three days from the date of receipt of this notice why appropriate disciplinary action cannot be taken against you for the following misconducts:

“a) gross insubordination in that on or about 22 January 2016, you were called to a meeting held at the Scripture Union to handover all the equipment and documentations in your possession but instead of coming, you held your own meeting in LAT offices with your own agenda and also withheld certain documents.

“b) You also neglected and/or refused to withdraw your signature from the union’s Standard Lesotho Bank account despite several requests to do so.You know for a fact that you lost in the union’s elections and are therefore ineligible to continue to remain the signatory to the union’s bank accounts.”

The SG further statesin the event of MrKulehile failed to respond within the stipulated time, the union would presume he had no explanation to make and proceed to initiate disciplinary action against him.

Mr Kulehile was also informed he had been suspended from all union activities.

“A copy of this letter shall be sent to all our stakeholders to deviate from any communication with you on whatever information related to LAT,” the letter also stated.

However, Mr Kulehile responded by dismissingthe allegations in a letter titled ‘False allegations of misconduct’. The letter, dated 25 April 2016 was written by his lawyers, Mei and Mei Attorneys.

“Our instructions are that your allegations that our client committed certain ‘misconducts’ are misconceived and without any basis. First you know it is incorrect to suggest our client did not turn up for the meeting held at the Scripture Union offices.

“Our client convened the said meeting in which it was intended to make formal handover to the new executive committee. We confirm the outgoing executive committee held another meeting at the headquarters of the Association in order to agree on the handover notes. It follows that your suggestion and by implication an improper imputation of misconduct on our client is baseless,” the lawyers stated.

“Our instructions are that when a new executive committee joins office, the outgoing signatories to the banking accounts of the Association must be invited to a meeting.

“Thereafter, the parties that are new signatories proceed to the bank for purposes of identification and filling the necessary documents intended to notify the bank about the change. In your case, you simply approached the courts of law without inviting our client to change his signature in the manner set out above.

“As a result of your aggressive approach, there are pending legal proceedings in CIV/APN/51/2016,a matter which will be heard on 26 April 2016. It is therefore not correct that our client ‘lost’ and refused to ‘withdraw’ his signature.”

Mr Kulehile also took exception to suggestions that“there is no secretary general when you know Mrs Mofammere still holds office until June 2016.”

He also accused the executive of spreading “unfounded allegations on the internet through text messages that our client is putting the Association at stake.These unfounded and unsubstantiated statements must cease forthwith, otherwise our instructions are to institute legal action for defamation.”

The lawyers added: “Finally, we have been instructed that your approach by writing letters on behalf of the Association runs contrary to the resolution of the annual conference dated 27 June 2014 in which it was resolved that the secretary general should be the only person to write such correspondence.

“Accordingly, our client’s instructions are that your proposed course of action is unreasonable and unjustified. Should you proceed as suggested in your letter we have instructions to challenge your decision in that regard.”

Asked about the LAT letter, Mr Kulehile said his lawyers had already responded to the allegations and had nothing more to add.

On the other hand, the union, through the Secretary General Mr Kulehile yesterday said there was nothing he could discuss with the reporter unless they have a proper interview and that he was in a meeting.


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