The Registrar and Master of the High Court, Godfrey Nthomiwa, has been appointed a judge of the High Court, the Administration of Justice confirmed this week, ending months of speculation about his future intentions to join the bench.
Speculation was rife early this year that Nthomiwa was poised to join the bench. However, he had insisted that the allegations were of no substance and denied that he tendered an application for his name to be recommended to the President for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) when approached for comment by this reporter.
This week, Administration of Justice spokesperson, Boipelo Garekwe, confirmed in a brief interview with Sunday Standard that Nthomiwa has been appointed a judge.
Administration of Justice has had a vacant post since the resignation of the former Lobatse High Court judge, Dr Onkemetse Tshosa, resigned. The former University of Botswana academic resigned after President Ian Khama appointed a team to investigate his conduct. At the time the tribunal was appointed, Dr Tshosa had just been convicted of criminal offence by the magistrate court and subsequently given a suspended sentence.
Garekwe was not in a position to state whether the appointment is effective May or June.
She would also not entertain queries on growing concern that by sitting as Secretary of the JSC for the last past years and apply for the post of a judge, Nthomiwa was effectively conflicted.
The JSC makes recommendations to the appointing authority.
Sunday Standard was also unable to establish whether Nthomiwa’s appointment was done after adverts were placed in the newspapers. Nthomiwa served as Registrar and Master of the High Court for many years.
Reports indicate that Nthomiwa allegedly beat two private attorneys and a Botswana Defence Force (BDF) top lawyer for the position.