As if declining to have their vehicles returned to them was not enough, a peeved Justice Omphemetse Motumise on Friday directed the Registrar of High Court to charge former Gaborone United chairperson Rapula Okaile and his Wife Neo, for contempt of court.
Motumise was irked by the fact that Okaile filed an affidavit on behalf of Capital Management Botswana (CMB) while the company is still under the Statutory Management of Peter Collins.
The Okailes approached court on urgency seeking return of their eight vehicles, which were impounded by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) during the course of criminal investigations. The applicants in the matter, Okailes, their company Warentebo investments and CMB, wanted the court to review and set aside the decision to seize the vehicles on the contention that such a decision was unlawful, unconstitutional and unprocedural.
It is suspected the eight vehicles were bought with money from the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), which was under management of CMB.
In one of their defence points, the DCEC represented by Matlhogonolo Phuthego said that CMB is under statutory management and therefore Okaile is not authorised to represent it. Phuthego also argued that the resolutions authorising the institution of the application were defective because they did not disclose where and when the board of directors on Warentebo and CMB met to adopt the resolutions.
In his judgement, Motumise said: “To express my revulsion and opprobrium at the applicants’ disregard of the Order of this Court and especially Okaile, I will order punitive costs against them. But this is not enough to
Motumise said the Order of Court issued on March 15, 2018 is quiet explicit in that regard. He said judgement would be delivered tomorrow and pending the judgement, the appointment of Peter Collins as statutory manager shall remain effective.
Gabriel Kanjabanga representing the applicants sought to deflect the point by suggesting that statutory management is not the same as judicial management. He said the statutory manager deals with the day-to-day operations of the company while its directors can deal with other matters such as litigation.
“In the face of the Order of this court and the provision cited above, the applicants’ position is disingenuous and I reject it.
The applicants have, by openly purporting to act for, or on behalf of CMB, notwithstanding their knowledge of the order of this court, committed an act of contempt of court both ex facie and in facie the court. Those actions deserve severe and effective censure from this court,” Motumise said.
Motumise dismissed the application with costs and directed the Registrar to issue a notice within 14 days against the Okailes calling upon them to show cause why they cannot be held in contempt of court for disregarding the order of this court dated March 15.