Butale Threatens to Sue NEC of BPF for Contempt of Court

  • Threat follows NEC’s suspension of Butale and Aphiri
  • Butale’s lawyers say the suspensions “are unlawful and contemptuous”


The president of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), Biggie Butale, is likely to take Ian Khama’s faction of the party to court again for contempt of court after its National Executive Council (NEC) suspended him and the Secretary for Public Education Keitumetse Aphiri for 90 days on Monday this week.

The NEC of the BPF is made up of Khama’s faction.

Suspending Butale stands in sharp contrast with his recent High Court judgement that restrained the Khama faction from holding meetings outside the purview of the BPF constitution.

Serowe West primaries

According to the letter of Butale’s suspension, the president of the BPF was suspended for acting outside the NEC when he set dates and sanctioned candidates for primary elections for a by-election in Serowe West while Aphiri was suspended for being presented as the Acting Secretary General of the BPF by Butale.

However, lawyers acting for Butale say the decision to suspend the two was taken by Mephato Reatile and his NEC cohorts without the knowledge of Butale as president of the BPF.

Rammika Tafa Attorneys have warned Reatile and his cohorts that the meeting that took the decision to suspend their client was unlawful in terms of the judgment of Lobatse High Court Judge Matlhogonolo Phuthego.

NEC restrained

According to Butale, Justice Phuthego interdicted and restrained the NEC members who suspended him from calling any meeting without involvement of the president of the BPF.

“Yourself and cohort of other executive members have failed to oblige to both the BPF constitution and more specifically an order of the court,” he has submitted through his lawyers.

“You are forewarned that the above is contemptuous and directly contradicts the constitution of the BPF.”

According to Butale’s lawyers, the resolution issued at a purported meeting that took the decision to suspend their client did not issue a requisite notice in accordance with the constitution of the BPF.

“All members of the NEC are aware of the judgement issued by the High Court on the 26th of April,” they state. “It will be maintained that any attempt relating to the holding of a NEC meeting outside the requisites of the constitution (and) the judgement are unlawful and contemptuous.”

Legitimate president

Butale recently approached courts to seek to declare him the legitimate BPF president after the NEC accused him of having resigned at a certain meeting.

He cited BPF patron Ian Khama and his BPF secretary general, his younger brother Tshekedi, as well as Vuyo Yane, Robert Mariba and Prince Bosilong.

Eventually, the court declared Butale as the legitimate president of the BPF and restrained the respondents from holding any meeting and using any party material.