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Gazette apology for the error

The Botswana Gazette has been made aware of the factual errors contained in the story that we published in last week’s edition (Metropolitan loses big against client, November 21, 2018) regarding a court case between Metropolitan Life of Botswana and its client Esau Nong Jokonya.

While we had mentioned in our story that Lobatse High Court Judge, Jennifer Dube had already made an order declaring that Metropolitan Life of Botswana’s refusal to terminate and transfer the funds of their client Esau Nong Jokonya, a lecturer at Palapye Technical College, is unlawful and contra bono mores, the true facts of the matter are that the case is still before Judge Dube for determination and no such order or judgment has been made on the matter.

We wish to clarify that we erroneously reported on the submissions and the Draft Order, contained in the court application brought against Metropolitan by their client, Jokonya  as the Honourable Judge Dube’s Order. We accept this error and apologise to Metropolitan, Jokanya and the Honourable Court for the error. Our reporting on what we had mistaken as the Honourable Judge Dube’s ruling was in actual fact Jokonya’s pleadings and prayers to the court.

The Honourable Court has not yet made a determination on the case nor set it down for argument.   We have also been informed that Metropolitan has not yet filed their answering affidavit but only issued a Notice of Opposition.

The background of the case is that on the 9th of December 2008, Jokonya purchased a Retirement Annuity Policy from Metropolitan after he left his employment with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) through funds that were coming from BPOPF through its administrators, Alexander Forbes.

He alleged before the courts that the reason provided by Metropolitan for their refusal was that their Retirement Annuity Rules do not provide for cessation of membership by transferring funds out of the fund. Jokonya maintained that the provision does not speak to termination on account of transfer of funds. They submitted that the logical interpretation could be that the membership (without transfer) ceases automatically when a member stops making contributions and his/her funds get depleted or the fund dissolves. Through his legal team his court papers allege that any other interpretation would be unlawful and contra bono mores.

The Botswana Gazette as such wishes to withdraw the factually incorrect article and apologize unreservedly to the affected parties, being Metropolitan Life of Botswana and its stakeholders, their client Esau Nong Jokonya and the Honourable High Court. The erroneous article has been withdrawn from all our platforms.