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Segopolo out of Walia succession race

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has removed veteran attorney Itumeleng Segopolo from the list of shortlisted attorneys to replace the outgoing Justice Singh Walia who has reached the retirement age of 70.

Another veteran lawyer Tendekani Malebeswa has replaced Segopolo. It is not clear why the secretive JSC ditched Segopolo and replaced him with Malebeswa.

Currently Malebeswa is a partner at Malebeswa Matlakala Legal Consultants (MMLC) law firm in Gaborone. Before he co-founded his legal firm, he was a partner at Collins Newman and Company. Previously he was a deputy Attorney General.

He joins other shortlisted attorneys; acting Judge Godfrey Radijeng, Odirile Otto Itumeleng and Thato Mujaji. Walia’s contract ends on December 31, 2016, but has been extended by six months so that he completes all the matters before him. According to the Constitution, a person holding the office of a Judge of the High Court shall vacate that office on attaining

the age of 70 years or such other age as may be prescribed by Parliament.

It is provided that the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the JSC, “may permit a Judge who has attained that age to continue in office for such period as may be necessary to enable him or her to deliver judgment or to do any other thing in relation to proceedings that were commenced before him or her before he or she attained that age”.

Last week the JSC secretary Michael Motlhabi refused to discuss the issue of shortlisted candidates. Motlhabi said that the proceedings of the JSC are confidential and any appointment will be made public at the appropriate time.




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