Moroka explains reasons for interdicting Motlhabi


FRANCISTOWN: Justice Lot Moroka has released reasons for prohibiting the Registrar and Master of High Court, Michael Motlhabi, from holding interviews for the position of senior executive clerk of court (D2) scale until a review application by the applicant, Angela Ralekgobo, is heard.

Ralekgobo had filed an urgent application on November 1 before Moroka, stopping Motlhabi in his tracks from conducting the interviews. The Attorney General (AG) representing the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security is cited as the second respondent.

In his judgement, Moroka stated that Ralekgobo has been an employee of the Administration of Justice (AoJ) for 31 years and served as clerk of court in various grades over the years.

“On May 3, 2010 she was promoted to the post of executive clerk of court (D3 scale) and has served in that position for five years. In terms of the scheme of service, the post immediately above her current position is that of Senior Executive Clerk of court (D2 scale). It is to this post that the applicant expects to progress should she meet the requirements for progression to it,” said Moroka.

Furthermore, Moroka stated that on September 21, the applicant was served with a letter designating her to a post of Executive Assistant Clerk of Court (D3). She immediately contested the re-designation viewing it as a ploy to prevent her progression to the higher grade of Senior Executive Clerk of Court.

“The new path she has been consigned to is called Technician Cadre and is capped at the highest level of D3 scale, meaning she will not progress any further if the re-designation stays… On September 29, she learnt that the first respondent (Motlhabi) has scheduled interviews for all officers eligible for promotion to the post of senior clerk of court but she was not invited,” said Moroka.

The applicant alleges that she had previously been informed by the employer that she could not progress to the higher scale of D2 on account of non-availability of the post.  Now that the post is available, the applicant alleges that the first respondent is acting in bad faith in re-designating her and then calling for interviews excluding her on account of the re-designation, said Moroka.

“In opposition to the application, the first respondent has by affidavit deposed by Michael Motlhabi said that the applicant has been informed that she does not qualify for the post of senior executive clerk of court as she does not hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration…” said Moroka.

The second part of eligibility to the position of senior executive clerk of court is for persons who have been serving as executive clerk of court.

For them, eligibility for progression is completion of at least two years of satisfactory service as executive clerk of court.  Satisfactory service means that the appraisals by the employer must say so… The applicant has annexed copies of her performance appraisal by the employer as evidence of her satisfactory completion of at least two years as executive clerk of court as required by the scheme of service, said Moroka.

The applicant, Moroka added, has fulfilled the second requirement of temporary interdict.

“If the interviews are allowed to proceed to the exclusion of the applicant and the post filled, and subsequently the decision to re-designate her is reviewed and set aside, the harm she would have suffered would be irreparable.

On the other hand, only a temporary inconvenience will be suffered by the respondent on account of postponement. The balance of convenience favour the granting of the interdict,” said Moroka.

Moroka stated that the posts of senior executive clerk of court are finite and fixed in number hence the need for interviews so as to select the best candidate adding that the applicant does not demand to be promoted as she is fully aware that promotion is the prerogative of the employer after a fair assessment of all deserving candidates.

Finally Moroka said: “The application succeeds and the matter is treated as urgent and the rules relating to forms and service provided for under the rules of this court, the interviews for the senior executive clerk of court scheduled for November 3 are hereby suspended.

The respondents are hereby interdicted from calling interviews for the position of senior executive clerk of court until the applicant’s review application is heard and the respondents are to pay the costs of this application on an ordinary scale.” David Olatotse represented the applicant while Wedu Sibanda represented the respondents.

Editor's Comment
Botswana needs proper rehabilitation centres

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