By Mpho Keleboge
President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s lawyers this week asked the High Court in Gaborone to remove former President Ian Khama from the case in which disgruntled Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member Kamal Jacobs is challenging the legitimacy of Masisi as the party’s president.
Khama is cited as the Third Correspondent.
In papers before Gaborone high court, Justice Michael Mothobi, attorney Basimane Bogopa of Bogopa and Manewe Attorneys asked the Court should use its powers under Order 16 rule 9(2) of the High court rules to remove Khama from the case.
Bogopa told the Court it was baffling as to what kind of relief was being sought from Khama by Jacobs’ lawyers adding that it was also puzzling since the former President had not been served with court papers.
“Why doesn’t he have legal representation in court? He is misplaced and we ask the court to remove him from the proceedings because even his affidavit is not before court, it is just his name in the list of respondent,” said Bogopa.
He said the current case is similar to the 2009 case in which former BDP secretary general the late Gomolemo Motswaledi took BDP to court, where the High court ruled that a sitting President cannot be sued in his official or private capacity.
He said at least t Khama could be a co-applicant and not a respondent.
State Counsel Otlaadisa Kwape of the Attorney General Chambers (it was admitted as friend of the Court) said the Constitution of Botswana is clear that a sitting President cannot be sued both in his official or private capacity. He added that this is evidenced by the same case in which Khama was sued by Motswaledi and the High Court and Court of appeal ruled that a sitting President cannot be sued. The case continues.