There is a strong belief that the apparent fall out between Chief Justice (CJ) Maruping Dibotelo and suspended High Court Judge Key Dingake was not so imminent until early this year after the delivery of the legal year opening speech.
CJ had delivered a well-refined speech that touched a lot on the judicial independence and many believed it was the hand of Dingake who for many years, as a judge of the High Court had been vocal and advocated for judicial independence.
According to Mmegi sources, Dingake had been instrumental in making sure that the CJ often delivered well-polished speeches and that the CJ in turn trusted Dingake so much that he used to send him to regional conferences on his behalf.
“They may not have been best of friends, but on a more noting way, the two have been close and Dingake has been the right hand man to CJ since he ascended to the chair in 2010.
“I can attest that 90% of the CJ’s speeches since he took over were written by Dingake and as someone who believed in judicial independence his speeches always came strongly and to many who knew the two are surprised now that there is bad blood between them because I can also attest that CJ used to be the first to congratulate Dingake whenever he did well and even told him that more blessings were for him,” said the source.
The sources said rumours then started circulating that there was a higher power that was not happy with how the speech was written and boldly resented it, putting the CJ in a tight corner and forced him to choose between his close ally and those in power.
“That is where the trouble started. CJ had no choice and he was put in a tight corner and he had to choose. He was forced to find ways to get rid of Dingake and that was just a tip of the iceberg because the Mahalapye conference in July escalated things,” said the source.
The source further said many things were said at the two-day conference and Dingake also delivered a piece on the judicial reforms that were agreed by many and adopted but CJ strongly opposed them and he had to find ways to turn the tables on him.
The parties have not been accessible for media enquiries or interviews.