The embattled Daisy Loo Company has been slapped with a P120, 000 legal bill by the Attorney General. This was confirmed by the Deputy Attorney General, Abraham Keetshabe.
The costs, Keetshabe says, are for the case which was last year brought before Lobatse High Court judge, Steven Gaongalelwe, in which the company wanted the Directorate of Public Prosecution, the Botswana Police Service and Gaborone Magistrate Nehemia Mguni to be held in contempt of Court for having helped in impounding a cheque that the High Court had ordered should be given to the company as per earlier ruling of Court of Appeal.
The company had lost the application with costs.
After the failure in the High Court, Daisy Loo had appealed to the Court of Appeal and early this year they again lost the case.
The Court of Appeal judges said that “even if contempt has been committed, it would seem that Court of Appeal should not adopt a prosecutional role and then sit as both court of first and last resort and denying any person adjudged by it to be guilty of contempt a right to appeal its decision.”
The judges advised them that the route to take at this juncture would be to approach the High Court first on the matter before they could appeal to them.
After that they were ordered to pay the respondents in the matter, the Attorney General, as well as two South African advocates who were representing the Attorney General.
Keetshabe says that they are currently still working on the bill and added that he did not have a clue of what it would come to.
But legal sources say that considering that there were two advocates involved as well as the Attorney general, the bill would be considerable.
“I have no doubt that the bill for that trial will be very high,” said the source.
Daisy Loo has apparently heeded the advice from the Court of Appeal judges and has since filed a case of contempt against Magistrate Mguni in the High Court.
This was also confirmed by Keetshabe, who said that they are opposing the application.
“We are opposing the application they have made and we are working on that at the moment,” he said.
He said that he did not know when the matter will be heard.
In a related matter, one of the accused persons in the case in which employees of the Gaborone City Council are alleged to have altered tender documents to favour Daisy Loo, says that he does not think he will be able to raise the legal fees needed for the case which has 50 witnesses.
According to the accused person, who wanted to remain anonymous, he has already paid thousands of pula whilst they are still on the second witness.
This, he says, clearly shows that some of them will, in the near future, forgo legal services.
“I foresee a situation where some of us will one day appear without lawyers simply because we can not afford to pay them,” he said.