I do not welcome the appointment of Judge Godfrey Radijeng, to the chair of the DIS Tribunal.
It is wrong. First things, first; I am involved in a matter before him regarding the institution to whose tribunal, he has been appointed. I therefore, I begin my comments by owning up to a potential conflict. Aware of this fact, I shall steer clear of case facts and law, as required by law and ethics. I will focus on principle. I wish to be clear, further, that I write as a constitutional subject, and not as a lawyer in the case. I record herein, my citizen gripe with the timing of his appointment, and what I perceive to be the motive behind it. The path of criticism is a public way.
The appointment of Judge Radijeng, is an effort on the part of a judicially embarrassed government, that has gone far out on a limb, and can’t safely make it back home, to manipulate a judge through the conferment of title and position in a vain attempt to induce, favourable judicial outcomes. Judge Radijeng’s appointment, happens at a time when he is presiding, over one of the most contentious cases involving the very entity whose tribunal he has been appointed to lead. The case has been running round in the Courts for over three years, and has far reaching implications on the political credibility of the current administration.
When case was openly registered in the High Court, and fell to adjudication by Judge Ketlogetswe, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the political hit squad of the present administration, squealed in open Court, why the case was not enrolled before Judge Radijeng. Feel free to check the record. Same even, at some point, reported me to Judge Ketlogetswe, for complaining that they were a politically weaponised institution, which they in fact are.
The DPP, has lost its soul and must find it, in the national interest. The present situation, is unacceptable, and that, must be said. If so saying is a crime, then I will bear my punishment with fortitude.
I write not to disparage the present administration, but to remind it of its constitutional, and manifesto obligations. I have nothing against President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government. I have defended its positions before in various fora. In fact the main opposition’s hatred, of my person, is public knowledge. We are seeing a lot of effort, on the part of the current administration, to weaponise State institutions to achieve political ends.
No sooner had Judge Ketlogetswe ruled that government should restore to applicants what they were dispossessed of, in one of the cases did BURS go into wartime service, with a
The all-important institutions of the DCEC, DPP, and the BURS, have shamefully degraded themselves to political hit-squad status, and are doing hit jobs for the political administration.
I have consistently given one example, of how the DPP, an institution very dear to my heart, has been weaponised against the administration’s perceived enemies. Fancy this; when in January, 2018, the asset forfeiture case before Judge Radijeng, was argued, the DPP surprised the respondents with an affidavit by the former DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi, as one of their key witnesses in the matter. Kgosi, and the DIS, were, according to the DPP, victims of fraud. It was partly, on account of that affidavit, that the DPP was successful in the restraining order application. Judge Radijeng is soon, to preside over the determination of the asset forfeiture application, that followed. As soon as power transferred to the present administration, Kgosi, the DPP star witness in the application, was discarded by the DPP and disparaged as a criminal on incomprehensible charges, which were rightly dismissed by the High Court as devoid of merit. The DPP, have not appealed the judgement by Judge Leburu; rightly so, because the charges were from the very word go, a load of tripe.
Back to the issue; it is shameful that the administration has launched a charm offensive on the Judge Radijeng. It is significant that this charm offensive comes at the time when he is about to hear arguments in a case affecting the DIS; a case supposedly of national importance. President Masisi and his government, came to power decrying alleged misrule by the former administration, of which they were a part. What we are seeing, is hypocrisy at shameful levels. I ask politicians, to leave the Judiciary alone. We don’t need political interference in the justice system. Please hands off.
I have never hidden my disdain, as a lawyer, to interference with investigative, prosecutorial and judicial discretion. That is, to me, sacred ground. The fact is that, government has suffered a bloody nose on so many cases of recent, and Judge Radijeng is being enticed to become a deployee of the system. It’s a shame. I have said it before and I say it again; politicians must leave the Judiciary alone. It is the last refuge of the citizenry against the State. In the words of the Prophet Joel; “Let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream”.
Please leave the Judiciary alone.