Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Litigants complain against Justice Segopolo’s delays in delivering judgments

Litigants have filed complaints with the Registrar of the High Court against Justice itumeleng segopolo delay in delivering judgments. A letter addressed to the Registrar of the High Court by Thomas Bashi Moeng’s lawyers, Rammika Tafa Attorneys, dated 13 October 2022,states that their client was convicted of murder without extenuating circumstances by Justice Segopolo on 12th August 2021and they are still awaiting a written judgement. “We note with great concern that to date, Justice Segopolo has not delivered a written judgment to enable our client to have his day in court to appeal the sentence imposed on him,” the lawyers stated.

The lawyers explained that; “By this letter, we register a complaint regarding the unfortunate prevailing circumstances given the nature of the sentence passed and the fact that our client continues to languish on death row with no indication of when his appeal will be registered and ultimately heard.” “As it were, kindly advise whether or not the written judgment in this matter will ever be delivered, if so, when.” 

The Deputy Registrar and Master, one L J Botha, in his reply on behalf of the Chief Registrar indicated that; “Be advised that Judge herein has been approached for the delivery of judgement.” Botha added that “An undertaking has been made for delivery of the written judgement before the end of business 21st October 2022.” Botha concluded thus, “The Court Manager will contact you with the exact date and time for collection of the judgement.” 

But 15 day later, Moeng’s lawyers still had not been contacted by the Court Manager to collect the judgement as promised by Botha. In another letter dated 28 October, Rammika Tafa Attorneys reminded the Registrar of “Your letter dated the 13th October 2022 in which an undertaking was made that written judgment in the Thomas Moeng matter would be delivered before end of business 21st October 2022.” “It is the 28th October 2022 and we have received neither the written judgment nor any form of update on the progress, if any,” Moeng’s lawyers said.

They further stated that; “In the resulting circumstances, we notify you that we shall be meeting with our client later this afternoon to advise on and explore possible avenues of achieving our desired results as this channel of communication has not assisted in any way,” the lawyers said. It emerged that Rammika and Tafa Attorneys had also launched an appeal before the Court of Appeal against another judgement by Segopolo in a different matter without reasons in the form of a written judgement except an order.

In addition to the Thomas Moeng judgment, the lawyers requested Justice Segoplo’s “reasons for decision in the matter of Thulaganyo Daphney Kauta v B-TECH & 6 Others – UAHGB-000239-21 in which we act for the Applicants.” The lawyers revealed that: “In that matter you will note that an appeal against the decision of His Lordship Segopolo was noted (CACGB-305-21) based on an “oral judgment.” The following orders (by the Court of Appeal) were made: “the presiding Judge (Segopolo) in the Court a quo is to give reasons for his decision, the subject of this appeal, no later than 30 August 2022.”

The order of the Court of Appeal was also that; “The matter is postponed pending receipt of the reasons for the decision from the High Court; Once this order has been complied with, the Registrar of this Court is directed to set down the matter for hearing in the normal cause in terms of the rules.” Rammika Tafa Attorney said: “To date, we have not received the reasons of the decision.” “As in our letter of the 13th October 2022, and with the principle of finality to litigation in mind, we note a complaint regarding the failure to have delivered the reasons for the decision as ordered by the Court of Appeal,” the lawyers said.

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