Two Lobatse High Court judges, Stephen Gaongalelwe and Isaac Lesetedi, have been released to assist Court of Appeal judges in the session which started on 13 January and is expected to end on the 10 of February.
In his brief statement when opening the Court of Appeal session, Judge President of the Court of Appeal, Ian Kirby, said that the two judges have been called to assist as some of the judges who have been sitting on the past sessions have not been able to make it for various reasons.
Justice Nick McNally has been prevented from attending by illness whilst Michael Ramodibedi has been excused from this session at his request as he has pressing matters requiring his attention in Lesotho and Swaziland. Justice Elijah Legwaila, who was recently nominated as Court of Appeal judge by President Ian Khama, made his first appearance as a Court of Appeal judge.
Kirby said that Legwaila’s appointment marked the next stage of localization of the bench, which he said will be a gradual one “as continuing contribution, wisdom and objectivity of our foreign judges has always been and is still highly valued”.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal judges will on the 26 of January hear an appeal brought by four members of the Botswana Defence Force’s Military Intelligence wing who are appealing against their conviction and sentence for the murder of John Kalafatis.
The four soldiers are Gotshosamang Sechele, Ronny Motako and Boitshoko Maifala who have been sentenced to eleven years imprisonment.
Dzikamani Mothobi was sentenced to four years imprisonment, three of which were suspended. He is currently on bail.
During roll call last Friday, state lawyer Mpho Letsoalo told the judges that he would require time to study the documents which were served on him just days ago by the defence lawyer Thabiso Tafila.
An appeal by a convicted prisoner, Gotlhalosamang Gabaokelwe, who was sentenced to two death sentences for two murders and 15 years imprisonment for murder with extenuating circumstances, was scheduled to be heard yesterday.
On the 24 of January, the judges are scheduled to hear an appeal brought by 18 government employees who are appealing against the decision of the government to retire them. This follows after they lost the case in the High Court.
Another interesting appeal on 31 January will be one in which the National Amalgamated Local and Central Government Parastatal Workers Union and the Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities Union want the judges to review proceedings of High Court in their case against the Attorney General.