Mmegi Online :: The price of justice
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Last Updated
Tuesday 13 November 2018, 16:21 pm.
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The price of justice

The Court of Appeal came and went at the beginning of January and made some stunning observations, among them that court proceedings are conducted in a manner that is unfair to the accused persons.
By Staff Writer Wed 14 Nov 2018, 09:44 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The price of justice








The judges also made a damning observation that lawyers do not fully represent their clients and that the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) must do something about it if it wants the profession to be held in high esteem in society.

The court presided over 78 cases that they had to be complete within the four weeks they were allocated. Among the cases were two civil matters brought by former Debswana managing director, the late Louis Nchindo and his co-accused persons who were challenging decisions made by the lower courts in denying them access to witnesses, documentation, and that his defence team should interview some of the state witnesses, among them Justice Newman and Nicky Openheimer of De Beers.

He was also challenging a move by government to try and bar him from developing the plot in Gaborone North that is part of evidence in the criminal charges he was facing.

The Appeal court allowed his defence team access to witnesses and more documentation but confirmed that he should wait a bit in developing and he won one and conceded one. Also among the appellants was death-row inmate Mokwadi Fly, who was convicted of killing his son in Francistown in 2007. He lost the appeal and has only President Ian Khama to save him. Shortly before, another applicant, Liberty Mhlanga, who is kept in jail

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at the pleasure of the President, also lost. He is accused of two counts of murder and several counts of theft, rape and robbery. He was found to be insane and a criminal lunatic.

But all these appeals came at a cost to the taxpayers popping out P5, 750 daily allowances for each of the seven judges for 20 days.

This amounts to 115, 000 for each of them at the end of the session. “On average, a total of P20, 000 was paid for each judge for the hotel accommodation and meals. There were seven judges in the January session,” says a response from the High Court in Lobatse.

They further stated that each judge is appointed for four sessions (equivalent to two years) and are recruited through head-hunting. However, the High Court said that the judges are not entitled to any terminal benefits at the end of their tenure.

Among the seven judges there are three black judges. The High Court says that the recruitment is done regardless of colour, race and religion. The government is planning to have a permanent Court of Appeal in Gaborone.

“That matter is still being considered by government and we are not in a position to say how long it is going to take for the decision to be made,” a statement from the High Court says.

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