Mmegi Online :: JSC, CJ drag the Judiciary in the mud
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Thursday 20 June 2019, 12:07 pm.
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JSC, CJ drag the Judiciary in the mud

The Law Society of Botswana (LSB) has recently become aware of a document purported to be a “Final Internal Audit Report – Honourable Judges’ Housing Allowance”. The Report which is dated May 23, 2016, is addressed to the Registrar and Master of the High Court of Botswana and until the contrary is shown; is treated as authentic.
By Correspondent Tue 20 Sep 2016, 17:06 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: JSC, CJ drag the Judiciary in the mud








The Report above raises several issues that give rise to the need to revisit the Law Society’s position articulated in a Statement issued on September 24, 2015 that called for the Chief Justice (CJ) to resign or face impeachment.

The Final Audit Report which has now surfaced, shows that three other Judges (other than the four currently on suspension), had also previously been erroneously paid the Housing Allowance and some amounts remain unpaid to date. No action, as firm and robust or otherwise, as that meted to the other Judges has been taken against these Judges. This lays credence to the Society’s position as articulated in the past that the actions of the CJ against the four Judges were selective, differential, biased and likely actuated by malice or other improper motives.

The Final Audit Report also makes some recommendations. None of the recommendations include the actions taken by the CJ against the four Judges thus far. That the CJ could commission an audit and proceed to act before the findings of the audit are known and in fact act in contradiction of the said Audit recommendations is also indicative of the fact that the audit was commissioned to present a cover for outcomes he

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had already determined. The foregoing approach by the CJ supports the Society’ position that all the CJ’s actions with respect to the suspension of the Judges was actuated by malice or some other improper motive.

Previously, the Law Society called upon the Administration of Justice and the Chief Justice to investigate and if necessary take action when the newspapers first named other Judges who had been erroneously paid housing allowance. The Law Society calls upon the JSC and the CJ to provide an explanation for not taking any steps since May 2016 when the Final Audit Report was released.

The Final Audit Report reveals three more Judges to have received housing allowance and yet the JSC and the CJ have not reported such Judges to the Police with the same haste and speed with which the four suspended Judges were reported to the Police and dealt with.

The conduct of the JSC and the CJ continue to drag the Judiciary further in the mud, eroding public confidence, the independence and integrity of our judicial system.

As part of its mandate, the LSB will continue to bring to light these pertinent issues to its members and indeed the larger public.

*Lawrence Lecha is LSB chaiperson

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