High Court judge Key Dingake and Debswana Managing director , Blackie Marole, have appealed an order of the High Court summoning the two to release details of their cell-phone communication.
The order, issued by Justice Monametsi Gaongalelwe, threatens to open Dingake’s life to the public following an unsubstantiated claim by Donald Gaetsaloe that Dingake, who ruled against him in a case in which Gatsaloe was suing Debswana, had received a bribe to the tune of P1.5 million.
This allegation, which has already been disapproved by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), first surfaced earlier this year after Justice Dingake sold his house to Lands and Housing Minister Nonofo Molefhi’s company, Academy of Business Management, for P1, 5 million.
The deed of transfer has already been made in favour of the minister who has since moved into the house.
However, Gatsaloe maintains that through his own informal ‘hamstrung’ investigations that are based largely on conjecture, Dingake was bribed by Marole and further alleges that the DCEC, which probed Dingake, might have colluded with both Dingake and Marole.
Dingake, who is represented by attorney Virgil Vergeer of Collins Newman Company, wants the Court of Appeal to set aside the orders granted by Gaongalelwe on the 11 and 13 of this November.
In his grounds of appeal already filed with the court, the judge, along with Marole and Debswana, contend that the judge relied on hearsay evidence from Gaetsaloe’s founding affidavit and that the sources were altogether not disclosed.
According to Dingake, who is joined in the appeal by Marole and Debswana mining company as the 2nd and 3rd appellant, respectively, Gaongalelwe committed an error by granting an order for ‘disclosure of confidential and personal information’ without assessing whether accordingly a case had been made out by Gaetsaloe.
Dingake also pleads immunity as he contends that the decision by Gaogalelwe to issue an order against him is against section 25 of the High Court Act which prohibits legal suits against judges, especially in reference to when they are acting in their judicial capacity. Dingake wants the application to be dismissed with costs and for Gaetsaloe, who is Managing Director at African Alliance, to pay for all the costs of the case.
Apart from text messages and phone calls alleged to be between Dingake and Marole, Gaongalelwe had also ordered the Botswana Unified Revenue Service to provide all tax returns submitted by Dingake.
Debswana Mining Company was also ordered to furnish Gaetsaloe’s lawyers with copies of all monthly bills received by the diamond mining company in respect of calls made from Marole’s phone numbers.
The case is expected to be heard next year.