Leader of Opposition (LOO), who is also Member of Parliament for Maun West, Dumelang Saleshando has questioned President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s intention to appoint Justice Godfrey Radijeng as chairperson of the Tribunal on Intelligence and Security.
Radijeng is Masisi’s preferred choice to assume the role after the President expressed his intention to appoint him to replace former chairperson, Zein Kebonang who quit last December.
In terms of Section 31 (3) of the Intelligence and Security Services Act, Cap.23:02, Masisi is enjoined to consult the LOO on the appointments of members to the Tribunal.
However, after receiving a letter from the permanent secretary to the President informing him of Masisi’s intention to appoint Radijeng, Saleshando has since demanded that the President “share with me what considerations weighed in his mind, which led to his intention to appoint Justice Radijeng ahead of all other Judges”.
In a response letter dated May 28, 2021, addressed to the acting PSP Emma Peloetletse, the opposition leader said while he was thankful that the President consulted him, he was constrained to meaningfully contribute to the discussion around the appointment as Masisi has not brought to his attention any attributes he considered in choosing Justice Radijeng.
“There are many more Judges of the High Court who rank above Justice Radijeng in terms of seniority, judicial experience and have demonstrated, over a long period of time, a high level of knowledge and in-depth legal research and analysis. If it were to be known to me as to what profile of a candidate His Excellency wishes to make, it will enhance
Saleshando added that given the President considered only one name, that being of Justice Radijeng, he seems to have made up his mind as to who is most suited, rendering the consultation a compliance process geared at informing, rather than consulting.
In his view, there are more senior Judges like Justices Abednigo Tafa, Modiri Letsididi, Tshepo Motswagole, Michael Leburu, Lot Moroka and Mercy Garekwe, who should be considered ahead of Justice Radijeng.
Saleshando said the mentioned Judges were seasoned legal practitioners before their time on the bench, and also have many years of judgeship and have demonstrated the ability to write decisions that are clear, logical and cogent, and have shown judicial independence and impartiality in their decisions.
“In my mind, any of these Justices would make an ideal candidate and I would urge His Excellency to consider any of them for the appointment,” Saleshando said.
Meanwhile, in a brief telephone interview, Saleshando said he had not received a response to his letter. He stated that he expects the consultation process to continue before any official appointment is announced if indeed the President was consulting him on the subject matter.
It is said that the Tribunal has not been able to sit due to Justice Kebonang’s prolonged leave of absence and his subsequent resignation.