Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo has explained that as long as institutions such as the Attorney General Chambers, Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) are not capacitated and adequately resourced┬á to enable them to thoroughly investigate and effectively prosecute corruption cases, the guilty will increasingly go unpunished.
In his key note address at the official opening of the legal year and without citing cases, the Chief Justice expressed concern that the result is that if the guilty go scot-free, this is to the detriment of the country’s developing economy and image.
Since President Ian Khama assumed office, a number of his ministers have been arraigned before court; but only to be discharged. Some of the notable cases are those which involve huge chucks of land such as the recent Nchindo case involving plot 55720 which the Court of Appeal must be retained by Tourism Consortium Company, which is owned by Nchindo.
Dibotelo further explained that the core function of the court is to adjudicate over cases and dispense justice fairly and not to carry out investigations of offences before the suspects are arraigned before the courts.
“”I take this opportunity to implore our key Stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System to render the necessary support so that these cases are expeditiously resolved as corruption can be likened to a malignant cancerous tumour and has to be nipped before reaching levels where it will be difficult to manage,”┬á he said.
He added that the steady rise of corruption cases in the country have become more complex.
“In support of the government’s campaign and position for zero tolerance on corruption, we have now dedicated a judge of the High Court on a rotational basis to deal with all corruption and economic cases in the country Hon. Justice Tshepo Motswagole has been assigned to start the ball rolling over this special class of cases,” said Dibotelo.
Speaking at the same occasion, ┬áAttorney General Dr. Athaliah Molokomme┬á said in spite of the negative publicity generated whenever the court decides against the government in the “so-called high profile cases, our success┬á rate in both criminal and civil cases has consistently been over 80 percent”.
“The professionals who work in our independent institutions need the support of the nation as they carry out their difficult mandates. It should be understood that even by our small population that they make their decisions in good faith and without malicious intentions,” said Molokomme.