Saturday, January 16, 2021

Magistrate in Daisy Loo case elevated to acting judge

Gaborone Chief Magistrate Lot Moroka will on 9 July reassign to another magistrate a case in which the Managing Director of Daisy Loo, Modiri Dijeng, and some present and former Gaborone City Council employees are facing fraud charges relating to the awarding of tenders to Daisy Loo.

This follows after the Magistrate, Terence Rannowane, who was initially presiding over the case, was promoted from the post of Magistrate to acting Judge last month.

Immediately after the announcement of Rannowane’s elevation, the defence team made an application seeking that the issue of whether an acting judge can still continue presiding over cases in the Magistrate Court be clarified as they felt that, as an acting Magistrate, he could not hear the case or refer it to the High Court.

Because of this, he said that he felt the case should be given to another Magistrate. He said that it was in the interest of justice that Rannowane withdrew from the case.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Leatile Dambe, who was prosecuting the case had maintained that there was nothing wrong with Rannowane continuing to preside over the matter even after he had been elevated to the position of acting judge.

Besides Dijeng, other accused persons are Joseph stegling, Bitsang Abbey, Gilbert Sithole and Frank Molaletsi. They are alleged to have altered tender documents following the award of tender to Daisy Loo for bush clearing.

The case is still in its early stages as only two witnesses out of 50 have so far given evidence in the matter. President Ian Khama is being counted amongst those witnesses but it is not yet clear if he will give evidence.

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