Teacher sues state in 'Mpani wa Seretse' case

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FRANCISTOWN: The Attorney General has acknowledged receipt of a statutory notice to sue from a teacher at Shangano Junior Secondary School. Isaac Mogorosi through his lawyer, Anthony Manenji has informed the AG that he wants P300,000 from the state for alleged defamation.

He has received acknowledgment from the AG stating that: "We accept receipt of the statutory notice...Upon receipt of instructions we shall revert to you with an indication as to whether we are in dispute in which case the matter will have to proceed or whether it will be possible to resolve the matter without the need for litigation".Efforts by Mmegi to seek comments from the AG were not successful.  An officer from the AG chambers in Francistown, Ndiye Balule confirmed the demand from Mogorosi but he could not say more because he is not allowed to talk to the media.Calls to the head office in Gaborone were not answered.

Mogorosi through Manenji contends that around March 14, 2012 he received a defamatory letter from a certain, O.N Thonkga, Principal Education Officer in the Central Region. "The letter makes very damaging and defamatory allegations that my client is anti-government, accused President Ian Khama of being incompetent...burnt a tree commonly known as 'Mpani wa Seretse' all of which exposes our client to hatred, contempt or ridicule," the lawyer says.  Manenji says the letter referenced 'Charge following preliminary investigation' was read before a number of staff members before it reached Mogorosi.  He says that besides the defamatory allegations, his client was victimised and harassed by members of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) in Francistown on at least two occasions in June and November 2012.  The harassment was for allegedly masterminding the burning of the 'Mpani wa Seretse' tree. Manenji says the allegations are malicious and unfounded. He states that the letter by Thonkga was wrongful and unlawful and was meant to solely victimise Mogorosi.  "Instead it is the Director - Central Region who is authorised to do so (write such a letter)," the lawyer says.

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