Friday, July 3, 2020

JSC goes back to the original way of appointing judges

The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) has signalled thumbs up to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for recommending that Lot Moroka and Leatile Dambe be appointed as High Court judges.
President Ian Khama has since appointed the two to the bench.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Registrar and Master of the High Court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, confirmed the duo’s appointment but could not say if the JSC had climbed down on its previous system of appointment in which the President is given a slate of names to choose candidates of his choice when making appointments.

The controversial new system of selection has not only been opposed by the Law Society but has also been opposed by some members of the JSC who contend that the system is unconstitutional.

Nthomiwa, who is also the secretary to the JSC, stated that the two were expected to take up the posts after winding up business at their respective work places.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Law Society chairman, Tebogo Sebego, said that the system that was used in the recent appointments was a welcome development.

“We have been advised that two names were sent,” stated Sebego.

“That is the system which we find to be constitutional,” he added.

Sebego said that the Law Society was still waiting to hear whether the system will be adopted permanently.

“We were told that the matter is yet to be resolved and we are eagerly awaiting the JSC to finalise this issue,” he said.

He praised Dambe’s appointment and revealed that the Law Society endorsed her appointment because she was one of the most experienced female lawyers in Botswana.

“It’s only appropriate that she can receive a calling at the bench,” said Sebego. He said that Dambe has proved to be an able person after being appointed to head the DPP.
He further congratulated Moroka for his appointment and said that his organisation has confidence in him.

“We feel that he deserves it, he has served the magistracy with distinction as a judicial officer,” he said.

“He is one person who has the ability to dispense justice without fear…it’s a post well deserved and earned.”

The JSC had interviewed Dambe, Moroka, Mike Mothobi and Dr Tachilisa Balule among others.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.