The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has reportedly frustrated the appointment of Justice Key Dingake to the bench of the Supreme Court of Lesotho.
Mmegi is informed that the Lesotho Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had approached the Botswana JSC about the appointment of Dingake to be the judge of the Supreme Court of Lesotho, but the local body was not supportive.
“The Botswana JSC sat on May 8, 2015 to consider the appointment. They blocked the appointment saying that they do not have jurisdiction to appoint or post judges outside their jurisdiction,” said a highly placed source.
This, according to the source, means that the Botswana JSC has “killed an opportunity for resource development in Botswana”. He said in Botswana there is a non-indigenous Judge President of the Court of Appeal, Ian Kirby, and the Chief Justice Dibotelo Maruping “who is going in about 18 months”.
To establish reasons behind the refusal, Mmegi contacted the Botswana JSC secretary Michael Motlhabi last week Thursday and he demanded a questionnaire that was sent. Since then he has not been taking calls from the publication.
In response to the issue at hand, the Law Society of Botswana (LSB), which has a representative in the JSC, said they support any initiative that places citizens in the international arena.
“The success of these citizens is a positive for all Batswana and places the country on the map so to speak and also has the potential to open avenues for others.
In this regard therefore the LSB would have been proud if Judge Dingake had been appointed to the Court of Appeal of Lesotho,” said LSB executive secretary Tebogo Moipolai.
Asked to comment about the decision of the JSC on the Dingake case, Moipolai said the society “prefers to talk about its position as it has done above” and “is constrained to discuss the decision of the JSC whose deliberations are confidential”.
He added that, “The position of the LSB with respect to this ‘confidentiality’ is well known and is subject of litigation.
The LSB believes that the JSC should be transparent in discharging its constitutional mandate, especially where such transparency would entail simply publicising a decision it has taken and the reasons thereof.
You may therefore wish to approach the secretary of the JSC for its decision on this subject”.
Judge Dingake declined to comment.
The JSC consists of the Chief Justice who is the chairperson, the Judge President of the Court of Appeal, the Attorney-General, the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, a member of the LSB and a person of integrity and experience not being a legal practitioner appointed by the President.