Friday, September 22, 2023

Appeals Court judge fights housing allowance investigation

By Mpho Keleboge

Court of appeal Judge Monametsi Stephen Gaongalelwe will this week (Thursday) appear before a panel of judges to thwart being investigated for ill-gotten housing allowance.

He wants the Court of Appeal (CoA) to overturn a decision of the High Court which ordered the Directorate of Public Prosecution to investigate him for possible charges of stealing or theft for receiving a housing allowance while occupying a government house.

This was after High Court Judge Michael Mothobi ruled that Gaongalelwe should be referred to the DPP for possible prosecution.

In his grounds of appeal, through his lawyers Armstrongs Attorneys, Gaongalewe is seeking the CoA to set aside the contents and findings of the court a quo judgment that refers to offence of stealing or theft.

He said Mothobi misdirected himself to rule that DPP should institute possible criminal proceedings against him.

Gaongalelwe wants the CoA to overturn the decision of the High Court arguing that it is irrational. He wants the court to absolve him from any wrong doing. He also wants the CoA to set aside and strike off the Final Audit report.

The Judgment was delivered by Michael Mothobi following a case in which court of appeal judge, Gaongalelwe was challenging the Final Audit report which exposed him as amongst the judges who had wrongly received housing allowance while occupying government institutional houses.

‘’Why did he keep the money for three years if he was not entitled to it and why did he propose to repay the money later if he was entitled to the money. As a learned CoA Judge he knows all these things,” said Mothobi.

The Final audit report came into the picture in 2016 after some four judges, Key Dingake, Mercy Gaarekwe, Rainer Busang and Letsididi were accused of receiving housing allowances they were not entitled.

According to the Internal report which was placed before court, CoA judge Gaongalelwe was listed for owing P63,141 ,00.

He was put on the list of judges who owes government for not paying back housing allowance which was wrongly given to him while on transfer at Francistown for a period from February 2004 to March 2005.


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