Thursday, November 30, 2023

Judge Kebonang orders immediate arrest and detention of BDF commander

Gaborone High Court Judge, Justice Zein Kebonang on Friday issued a warrant of arrest against the Commander of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Major General Placid Segokgo after he was found to be in contempt of court for failure to comply with a judgment to reinstate two BDF officers who were dismissed from work.

Kebonang has instructed the police to arrest and detain BDF commander with immediate effect for a period of 30 days.

 “The commander of Botswana Defence Force is hereby found to be in contempt of Court and a warrant of arrest is hereby issued for the immediate arrest and detention of the commander of Botswana Defence Force Lieutenant General Placid Segokgo. The said lieutenant should be detained with immediate effect,” said Kebonang.

The commander faces a jail term for not complying with a court order of 18 November reinstate two   BDF officers Thabang Tlhapisang and her boyfriend Kozondu Uariaua who were dismissed from work for failure to comply with BDF policy of Fraternization Act. The two represented by Duma Boko and Othusitse Mbeha of Boko Attorneys then approached the court challenging the decision of the commander to be set aside.

Boko told the court on Friday that BDF Commander was issued with papers through his junior officer Bragadier Kgaswane and Attorney General to appear before court but they decided not to turn up.

 ‘’All this is a total disregard for the rule of law and an insult for the reputation and integrity of the court. It is a total contempt to disregard the rule of law because  on the 13th  December a meeting was convened by four representative from BDF and from Attorney Chamber and a representative from Boko attorneys to map the way forward,” said Boko.

He said the meeting was also aimed at discussing the reinstatement of Tlhapisang since Uariaua has indicated that he is no longer interested in being reinstated.

“The Commander refused to comply and made it clear that they are not going to comply with the court order and promised to appeal the decision,” said Boko. However, Boko said, the BDF has not served them with papers notifying them of their intention to appeal.

The two were accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship sometime in 2012. They were each charged on August 22, 2014 with a single count of contradicting the BDF Act. They were both dismissed from the military two months later.


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