Tuesday, June 22, 2021

DPP director quits under a cloud

The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) Leonard Sechele on 30 June quit the prosecuting authority. Sechele’s departure comes at a time when pressure is mounting that the DPP should prosecute the Directorate of Security and Intelligence and Security Services (DISS).

Sechele served under Kgosi as a legal advisor for DISS before joining the DPP. Attorney General Chambers (AGs) attributed Sechele’s departure to ill health. However, there are claims that the explanation by the AGs is not convincing and is suspect because Sechele still wanted to serve the government in the near future in a different capacity.

Sunday Standard is in possession of documents showing that Sechele is one of the applicants who had applied for the position of the High Court Judge following the departure of Justice Newman.

Responding to Sunday Standard queries, AGs spokesperson Felicia Mosetlhane said “it is indeed correct that the contract of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Leonard Sechele, was due to come to an end on 31 July 2015. On 30 June 2015, Sechele was released from serving the remainder of his contract at his request due to ill health.”

She said the recruitment process for the position will begin shortly, as DPP Deputy Director Kabo Leinaeng is acting DPP in the meantime.

When contacted for comment Leinaeng said “I am not in a position to discuss this matter with the press as it is an internal matter.” Wesson Manchwe who is also DPP deputy said “I haven’t thought and applied my mind whether I might be interested to take the position if given the opportunity.” Allegations have since emerged linking Brigadier Alidi, a retired soldier but working on contract at Sir Seretse Khama Baracks to replace Sechele. Alidi however told Sunday Standard that he had neither been approached by anyone nor applied for the position.

“I totally don’t think that I am interested to take such a position,” he said.

Commenting on the matter, Law Society Botswana (LSB) Chairperson Lawrence Lecha said it will be very unfortunate if it happens that a military officer can be appointed as DPP adding that this does not mean he despises military officers.

He said though they do not have any name to put forward they suggest that the person that will be appointed should have integrity and take DPP to the next level because there is always room for development.

“There are good lawyers around actively practicing who can take the position,” said Lecha. Lecha also suggested that it is of paramount importance that they should be consulted during the process of such an appointment as stakeholders.

On the outgoing DPP, Lecha said they had cordial relations with his office as they did not have any complaints either from the public or the fraternity and wished him a speedy recovery.

He appealed to the new DPP who will be appointed in the near future to clear the mist or perception that there are high profile cases that are being swept under the carpet and will not see light of the day.

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