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VOLUME: X
TRADE UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS039 ORGANIZATIONS
CHAPTER: 48:01
Part:III Registration of Trade Unions, Federations of Trade Unions and Employers039 Organizations ss 516
5.       Registration under Act

            Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization formed in Botswana shall be registered in accordance with this Act.

6.       Application for registration

            (1) Every trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization formed in Botswana shall, within 28 days immediately after its formation, apply to the Registrar for registration as a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, as the case may be, under this Act.

            (2) Every application for registration under this Act by a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be made in the prescribed form which shall be accompanied by-

     (a)     the prescribed fee;

     (b)     three printed or typed copies of the constitution of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, each copy authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization;

     (c)     in the case of an application by-

           (i)       a trade union or employers' organization, one copy of the resolution by which it was formed authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union or employers' organization; or

          (ii)       a federation of trade unions, one copy of each of the resolutions by which the members of the federation were authorized to enter into the federation authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union in question;

     (d)     a list of the full names of all the members of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; and

     (e)     a written statement setting out, in respect of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization-

           (i)       its name and postal address and the location of its principal office;

          (ii)       the date of its formation; and

          (iii)       the titles, full names, ages, postal and residential addresses and occupations of those of its officers who are signatories to the application.

            (3) In the case of an application for registration under this Act by a trade union, the written statement referred to in subsection (2)(e) shall also set out the name of every employer or industry that the union claims will be bound to deal with it in terms of section 48 and particulars of every negotiating body, whether of the parent trade union or a branch thereof, to be concerned with the conclusion of collective labour agreements.

7.       Notice of application for registration to be published

            (1) The Registrar shall cause a notice of every application for registration made in accordance with section 6 to be published in the Gazette and in such other manner as the Minister may direct.

            (2) Every notice such as is referred to in subsection (1) shall set out the particulars that have been provided by virtue of section 6(2)(e) and shall call upon any person who objects to the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization to notify the Registrar of the objection, together with the grounds thereof, within such reasonable time as shall be specified in the notice.

8.       Penalty for failure to apply for registration

            Where a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization fails to apply for registration in accordance with section 6, every officer of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and every person acting or purporting to act as such an officer shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P100.

9.       Issue of certificate of registration

            (1) Subject to section 10, the Registrar shall, after considering every objection to the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization notified to him within the time specified in accordance with section 7 and after making such inquiries in the matter as he thinks fit, register the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization in such manner as the Minister may direct and issue to it a certificate of registration in such form as the Minister may approve.

            (2) A certificate of registration issued under this Act shall, for all purposes, unless the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization to which the certificate relates is proved to have been cancelled in terms of section 12, be conclusive evidence that that trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization is duly registered in accordance with this Act.

            (3) When and as often as the Registrar issues a certificate of registration under this Act, he shall forthwith inform the Commissioner of Labour that he has done so.

10.     Refusal of registration

            (1) The Registrar shall refuse to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization under this Act if it appears to him that its name is identical with that by which some other trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization has been registered or so nearly resembles that other name as to be likely to deceive or mislead any person or is otherwise misleading or undesirable, until such time as the name is altered to one acceptable to the Registrar.

            (2) The Registrar shall refuse to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization under this Act if he is satisfied that-

     (a)     it has not complied with the provisions of this Act or with any regulations made thereunder or with any requirement made of it by the Registrar in respect of its registration under this Act;

     (b)     ...

     (c)     any of its principal objects or any other provision of its constitution is unlawful;

     (d)     it is used or has been used for an unlawful purpose;

     (e)     its funds or other property are being or have been applied in an unlawful manner or for an unlawful object or an object not authorized by this Act or its constitution;

     (f)      its accounts are not being kept in accordance with this Act; or

     (g)     its principal objects are not in accordance with those of a trade union or employers' organization, as the case may be, as the same is defined by section 2.

     (3) ...

     (4) ...

11.     Notification of refusal of registration

            (1) Where the Registrar refuses in accordance with section 10 to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, he shall notify the applicants in writing of the refusal and the grounds thereof and the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be deemed to be dissolved from the date of the notification:

            Provided that, where an appeal is lodged against the refusal, the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be deemed to be dissolved from the date on which the appeal is dismissed or abandoned.

            (2) Any person who takes part in the management or organization of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization deemed to be dissolved by virtue of this section or acts or purports to act on its behalf or as its officer shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P60 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding P20 for every day the offence continues:

            Provided that it shall not be an offence under this section for a person to take part in the management or organization of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization deemed to be dissolved by virtue of this section or to act on its behalf or as its officer for the purposes of-

      (i)     any proceedings brought by or against the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; or

      (ii)     dissolving the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and disposing of its assets in accordance with its constitution.

12.     Cancellation of registration

            (1) The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act-

     (a)     at its own request upon its dissolution being verified in such manner as the Registrar may require; or

     (b)     if he is directed by the Minister under section 50 to do so.

            (2) The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act if he is satisfied that-

     (a)     it has ceased to exist;

     (b)     its registration was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or mistake;

     (c)     it has wilfully contravened this Act or any regulations made thereunder;

     (d)     it has wilfully, and after notice from the Registrar, allowed any provision of its constitution to continue in force which is inconsistent with this Act or any regulations made thereunder;

     (e)     ...

     (f)      any of its principal objects or any other provision of its constitution is unlawful;

     (g)     it is used or has been used for an unlawful purpose;

     (h)     its funds or other property are being or have been applied in an unlawful manner or for an unlawful object or an object not authorized by this Act or its constitution; or

     (i)      ...

            (3) ...

            (4) The Registrar may cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act if he is satisfied that its accounts are not being kept in accordance with this Act.

            (5) ...

            (6) The Registrar shall not proceed under subsection (4) to cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act or proceed under subsection (5) to cancel the registration of a trade union registered under this Act unless he has first caused to be served on it notice in writing that he proposes to do so and such notice shall specify the ground on which he proposes to do so.

            (7) A registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization served with a notice under subsection (6) may, within two months immediately following the day on which service of the notice was effected, show cause in writing lodged with the Registrar against the proposal to cancel its registration and, if such cause is shown, the Registrar may hold such inquiry as he considers necessary in the particular circumstances.

            (8) Where a registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization fails to show cause under subsection (7), the Registrar may, after the expiry of the period of two months prescribed by that subsection but no earlier, proceed to cancel its registration.

            (9) Where a registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shows cause under subsection (7) but fails to satisfy the Registrar that its registration ought not to be cancelled, the Registrar may, after the expiry of the period of two months prescribed by that subsection or the expiry of the period of one month immediately following the day on which such cause was shown, whichever is later, but no earlier, proceed to cancel its registration.

            (10) The Registrar shall effect the cancellation of the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act by means of a written order which shall specify briefly the ground for the cancellation of the registration and forthwith be served on the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization.

            (11) Upon the cancellation of the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act, the certificate of registration issued to it shall cease to have effect and shall be delivered to the Registrar within one month immediately following the day on which the order cancelling the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization was served on it in accordance with subsection (10):

            Provided that, in the event of an appeal under section 13 against the order cancelling the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, the certificate shall cease to have effect on the dismissal or abandonment of the appeal and shall be delivered to the Registrar within one month immediately following the day on which the appeal was dismissed or abandoned.

            (12) Where the certificate of registration is not delivered to the Registrar in accordance with subsection (11), every officer of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization in question immediately before the cancellation of its registration shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P100.

            (13) When and as often as the Registrar cancels the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act, he shall forthwith inform the Commissioner of Labour that he has done so.

13.     Appeals

            (1) Where any person is aggrieved by the refusal of the Registrar in accordance with section 10 to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or by an order of the Registrar in terms of section 12 cancelling the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, that person may appeal against the refusal or order to the High Court.

            (2) The High Court may, on an appeal under this section, make such order as it thinks proper, including any directions as to the costs of the appeal.

            (3) The decision of the High Court on appeal under this section shall be final.

            (4) The Chief Justice may make rules of court governing appeals under this section, providing for the method of giving evidence and prescribing the time within which such appeals shall be brought, the fees to be paid, the procedure to be followed and the manner of notifying the Registrar of the appeal.

            (5) The Registrar shall be entitled to be heard on any appeal under this section.

14.     Consequences of cancellation of registration

            (1) Where the registration of a trade union under this Act is cancelled in terms of section 12-

     (a)     it shall thereupon cease to enjoy the rights, immunities and privileges of a registered trade union and any liabilities incurred by the trade union may be enforced against it and its assets; and

     (b)     its officers and members shall thereupon cease to enjoy the rights, immunities and privileges accorded to the officers and members of a registered trade union.

            (2) Where the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization under this Act is cancelled in terms of section 12-

     (a)     it shall be dissolved and its assets shall be disposed of in accordance with its constitution; and

     (b)     any person who takes any part in its management or organization or acts or purports to act on its behalf or as its officer shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P60 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding P20 for every day the offence continues:

                      Provided that it shall not be an offence under this paragraph for a person to take part in the management or organization of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or to act on its behalf or as its officer for the purposes of-

           (i)       any proceedings brought by or against the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; or

          (ii)       dissolving the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and disposing of its assets in accordance with its constitution.

            (3) If any trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization whose registration is cancelled under this Act, is not dissolved-

     (a)     immediately following the day on which the order cancelling its registration was served on it;

     (b)     on the day on which the appeal was dismissed or abandoned, in the event of an appeal against the order cancelling its registration; or

     (c)     within three months or within such longer period as the Registrar may allow,

the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, every officer thereof and every person acting or purporting to act as an officer thereof, commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P100.

15.     Unregistered trade unions, etc. prohibited from carrying on business

            (1) No trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or any officer or member thereof shall perform any act in furtherance of the objects for which it has been formed unless it is duly registered in accordance with this Act:

            Provided that this subsection shall not apply in the case of a person taking part in the management or organization of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or acting on its behalf or as its officer for the purposes of-

           (i)       any proceedings brought by or against the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; or

          (ii)       dissolving the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and disposing of its assets in accordance with its constitution.

            (2) Any trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or officer or member thereof which or who contravenes this section and any person who is knowingly a party to the contravention shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P60 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding P20 for every day the offence continues.

16.     Rights of trade union pending registration

            Until a trade union is registered in accordance with this Act-

     (a)     it shall not enjoy the rights, immunities and privileges of a registered trade union and any liabilities incurred by the trade union may be enforced against it and its assets; and

     (b)     none of its officers or members shall enjoy the rights, immunities and privileges accorded to the officers and members of a registered trade union.