Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Judges prevail over Govt in deploying police officers at Industrial Courts

Government has finally succumbed to the pressure to engage police officers as court orderlies at the industrial Court. Initially government engaged private security companies employees as orderlies.

Government has since withdrawn a tender awarded to a private security company at the eleventh hour.

Information gathered by The Telegraph indicates that some Industrial Court judges have managed to force the government to reverse its decision to engage private security companies that were expected to resume their work as court orderlies two months ago.

Initially Government had identified a private security company to do the job.

 Industrial court spokesperson Idah Seforeng confirmed to this publication that police officers have since been engaged as court orderlies.

“We are happy about the posting of police officers as court orderlies at the Industrial Court; it has been long overdue indeed,” she said.

She explained that the main reason why it took time to deploy court orderlies was that the police officers were very thin on the ground. “But after graduation of police officers, ┬áthe Botswana police commissioner ┬ámanaged to help us with some officers who are already deployed at the court since the beginning on April this year.”

Seforeng indicated that initially Industrial Court wanted to engage private security although “we were worried about the cost implications but later the police came to our rescue and now will save taxpayers money.”

Meanwhile some Industrial Court judges told this publication on condition of anonymity that “we are happy that we have won the battle that has been bothering us for so long even though the battle is not yet over.”

They said since the Industrial Court was established some years back they have never had court orderlies.
“Surely government took us very lightly to the extent that they can simply engage private security companies as court orderlies without our knowledge,” said one judge.

They were sceptical as to whether such guards provided by a private firm have any professional training and suspected that some might collude with criminals and put their lives in danger or compromise the security of the courts. They said they have to enjoy the same privileges that their counterparts at the High Courts are enjoying as they do the same work.

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