Thursday, October 22, 2020

Government legal expenditures continued to rise even in 2017/18 financial year

BY CEDRIC SWANKA

There is an increase on Government expenditure regarding legal and related services according to the figures brought before Parliament this past week.

According to the figures, an overall rounded figure of twenty seven million Pula left Government coffers in a period of less than two years.

The available figures shows that for the financial year of 2017/2018 Government has spent over Eleven million Pula (P11 000 000) and the current financial 2018/19 year, fifteen million Pula (P15 000 000) has gone to cover expenses.

Speaking in Parliament this past week Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi said that “for financial year 2017/2018, the Attorney General’s Chambers spent a total of Eleven Million, One Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighteen Pula, Forty Thebe (P11 001 218.40) on legal and related services.”

Law firms are at the forefront as the bulk of the expenditures is going to their services rendered. Kgathi shared that “out of this amount, a total of Nine Million, Twenty-Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Nine Pula, Thirty Thebe (P9 022 979.30) was paid to law firms.”

However the remaining “One Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Thirty-Nine Pula, Ten Thebe (P1 978 239.10) was spent on related legal services, such as damages in civil cases involving Government.”

With only a few weeks to go before the financial year 2018/19 comes to a conclusion in April, the minister continued to reveal how in the current financial year fifteen million has been paid out. This is an increase of four million Pula when compared to the previous financial year.

Kgathi said “during the current financial year 2018/2019, the Attorney General’s Chambers has to date spent a total of Fifteen Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Three Pula, Eighty Thebe (P15, 135.643. 80) On legal and related services.”

Government has also recorded an increase in this financial year as they paid out a hefty eleven million Pula to law firms when compared to the previous year`s nine million Pula. Kgathi said “out of this amount, Eleven Million, Five Hundred and Six Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-Seven Pula, Seventy-Five Thebe (P11 506 457.75) has been paid to law firms.”

“The remaining Three Million, Six Hundred and Twenty-Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty-Six Pula, Five Thebe (P3 629 186.05) was expended on related legal services,” Kgathi continued

The Minister of justice Defence and Security was answering a question from Member of Parliament for Jwaneng- Mabutsane Shawn Ntlhaile, who asked the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to state the total amount spent on legal and related services; and the names of law firms and amount spent on each.

However the minister was unable to list the concerned law firms as it was too lengthy. The Defence Minister said “The list of law firms concerned and amounts paid to each will be presented to the Honourable Member as it is too lengthy. There are over a 160 occurrences when they were paid. This whole annexure, I will give it to the Honourable Member through you Madam Speaker.”

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