Monday, September 21, 2020

CJ vindicated in Housing Allowance scam

Gaborone High Court Judge Godfrey Radijeng has ruled in favour of Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane in a case in which he was amongst the judges who had wrongly received housing allowance while occupying government institutional house.

Rannowane was listed on the report for owing government P47 000 housing allowance.

According to papers before court, the final audit report was compiled by auditors at the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security at the request of Dibotelo.

Rannowane approached the court seeking among others that some portion of the final audit as it relates to him should be expunged.

Rannowane accused the author of the report, Maria Mokgwathi of making incorrect findings with regard to payment of allowance to him.

In his judgment, Radijeng said the internal Audit which was conducted by Maria Mokgwathi was irrational and unreasonable and should be set aside.

He said the internal auditor has failed to adhere to the principle of audi alteram partem (let the other side be heard as well) in reaching the findings and conclusions she reached.

The judge said Rannowane was in occupation of a Government institutional house for which he paid rent, whether subsidized or not in my view does not answer the rationality or reasonableness of the decision.

”It appears to me that Justice Rannowane received housing allowance as he had been allocated a rent free institutional house as a judge. In my view the scenarios or facts under which Judge Rannowane received housing allowance and also paid rent for a house he occupied prior to being appointed judge of the High Court appear to me to be and are mutually exclusive of each other. The state has missed evidence of an appointment letter and that he was entitled to a rent free accommodation,” said Radijeng

Radijeng said her arrived at the decision to sit aside the internal Report because the state submissions was unreasonable and irrational granted the admission that Rannowane was entitled to rent free accommodation in government house.

The State was ordered to set aside and strike out some portions of the Final Internal Report and all references in the final Internal Report referring to Rannowane are expunged from the said Final Internal Audit Report.

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