AoJ employees ordered to refund employer


FRANCISTOWN: Some support staff members of the Administration of Justice (AoJ) at the High Court here have been ordered to refund their employer after they were mistakenly overpaid.

The move may be interpreted by some as double standards as the same employer recently moved to suspend four judges of the High Court for getting housing allowances while staying in government houses.

Sources at the High Court told this publication that they were surprised that the support staff members were not reported to the police like the four judges for receiving overpayments. 

They added that the morale of staff within AoJ is at an all time low because the powers that be in their department are not treating them properly. 

They said that they even wonder how the employer determined the monies they should refund because their letters do not show how the overpayments were calculated.

In letters seen by this publication from some employees of the AoJ in Francistown written by Tamatie Gabonthone, senior manager corporate services-on behalf of the Registrar and Master of High Court Michael Motlhabi, employees who were overpaid since 2014 are informed that they have been overpaid and asked to repay the money.

 “The purpose of this letter is to engage you to commit on how you wish to settle the amount. Please revert to us in seven days (sic) upon receipt of this letter,” said the letter.

Efforts to contact Motlhabi were not successful on Thursday and Friday.

Recently the Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo reported his fellow judges to the police arguing that the Administration of Justice has no investigative capacity or competence to look into the matter.

In the papers filed before the court, Dibotelo defended his actions saying he did not act out of discrimination nor was it actuated by malice.

President Ian Khama late last month suspended Justices Key Dingake, Modiri Letsididi, Mercy Garekwe and Ranier Busang.

The four judges are now challenging Khama’s powers to take disciplinary proceedings against them on the strength that it violates the constitutionally protected separation of powers.

 Some legal experts and social commentators took issue with him saying that he should not have reported the matter to the police because the matter was purely administrative and he should have found ways of making the judges repay the money they took from the state.

Editor's Comment
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