Thursday, February 25, 2021

11 High Court judges face the axe

A total of 11 Botswana High Court judges are likely to be fired should a tribunal set up to investigate Justice Dingake, Justice Letsididi, Justice Garekwe and Justice Busang find them guilty. The tribunal set up to investigate the quartet will try to establish “whether the letter was indeed written by them and the petition signed by them. The tribunal will also determine if that amounts to misbehaviour within the meaning of Section 97 (3) and if so whether the judges ought to be removed.”  

Although the first leg of the investigation will focus only on the four judges the outcome will be extended to seven other judges who signed the petition. The eighth judge has since withdrawn his signature. A letter from the Attorney General to the Registrar and Master of the High Court, signed by Nchunga Nchunga and dated 10 September states that, the “decision of the court will have far reaching consequences in guiding all the stakeholders and generations to come in handling similar issues.” 

Sunday Standard is informed that the outcome of the case involving the four judges will decide how the other seven judges are dealt with. Sunday Standard can further reveal that at a meeting between the Chief Justice and President Khama, where a decision to suspend the four judges was taken, President Khama wanted to suspend all 12 judges who had signed the petition. Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo, however advised the President against suspending all 12 judges saying it would lead to a judicial crisis. Justice Dibotelo proposed that only the four judges should be suspended and dealt with in the meantime. It was agreed that the remaining eight would be dealt with in due course. 

In a bid to head off a possible judicial crisis, the Office of the President has approached a number of judges who have signed the petition and promised them amnesty should they withdraw their signatures. So far only one judge has withdrawn his signature. At least four judges have so far been left out of the amnesty deal, among the Justice Moroka, Justice Nthomiwa, Justice Leburu. 

 

READ INDEPTH FOR DETAILS

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper