Judge Recuses Himself From Khama, Gov’t Bogosi Case

Date:

  • Says Seretse Peter Khama is married to his relative
  • Former president wants Minister Kgotla Autlwetse to appoint Peter Khama as regent
  • Says the minister’s refusal to appoint is guided by political motives
  • Defence argues Khama failed to prove he is legally recognised as Kgosi of Bagammangwato tribe

Maun High Court Judge, Bugalo Maripe has recused himself from a case in which former president and Bangwato paramount chief, Ian Khama has dragged the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kgotla Autlwetse before court demanding him to appoint Seretse Peter Khama as the tribe’s regent.

The case returned to court this week with Khama and Peter Khama (as second applicant) represented by Tapiwa Abel while the minister and Attorney General as first and second respondents were represented by Itseng Mothibonele of Bogopa Manewe Attorneys.

Judge Maripe on Tuesday said he could not continue presiding over the matter because the second applicant is married to his relative. The file has subsequently been returned to the registrar to be reallocated another judge.

According to the applicants’ notice of motion, Khama wants the court to order the minister to appoint Peter Khama as Motshwarelela Bogosi of the Baga mmangwato tribe by a notice published in the Government Gazette, and also publish the said appointing notice in the Gazette within 30 days of the date of the delivery of the order.

Further to that, the former President wants the second applicant to be installed as regent at the Bagammangwato main kgotla at Maaloso Ward in Serowe in accordance with the tribe’s custom, and that the installation shall occur within 30 days of the date of publication of the Gazette containing the appointing notice.

“The first respondent, or any person acting through him, is directed to grant members of the Bagammangwato tribe access to the said kgotla for purposes of the installation. The second applicant shall commence his appointment on the date of his installation,” read the notice.

Lastly the applicants want the respondents ordered to pay their costs of suit on an attorney and own client scale, jointly and severally, the one pay the other to be absolved.

In his founding affidavit, Khama indicated that as the designated Kgosi of Bagammangwato, he has in accordance with his duty under Section 7(1) of the Bogosi Act designated Peter Khama as tribe’s regent. He says his application before court arises out of neglect and failure by the minister to perform his duties under the Act as legislative enactment of Botswana.

“Although I am the recognised Kgosi of Bagammangwato tribe, I am at the moment, unable to take up the functions of that office. Accordingly, I have designated the second applicant as Motshwarelela Bogosi of the Bagammangwato tribe to act on my behalf and in my place,” said Khama stressing that his designation of Peter Khama was in accordance with the tribe’s customary law.

He argued that at the time of the termination of the appointment of Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane as regent, the first respondent was aware that he had designated the second applicant as the former’s successor.

“Numerous requests have been made to the first respondent to appoint but he has not acted. Three written requests have been delivered to him, but no action has been taken. Furthermore, he has not corresponded nor has he given reasons for his refusal, neglect and failure to appoint.

“For the past 2 years the first respondent has treated my requests to appoint with silence, which silence should be taken as an outright refusal and has not pointed me to reasons of his refusal.”

The former president concludes that the refusal by the first respondent is guided by political motives instead of the Act. He claimed that in taking side of President Mokgweetsi Masisi who he is currently having an impasse with, the first respondent has allowed irrelevant political factors to cloud his judgement and that has neglected the relevant factors to be considered in the performance of his section7 (2) duty.

He cited that after losing the Serowe North constituency following his (Khama) successful de-campaigning,  the minister has since been holding a political grudge. “It is because of this political grudge, among others, and not due to any relevant factors under the Act, that he is to date, after numerous requests and lapse of a significant period of time since the termination of Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane’s appointment that he is refusing, without any reasons to appoint the second applicant.” 

In their notice to raise a points in limine, the defence argued the 1st applicant as a fugitive from justice is not entitled to evoke the process of the courts in Botswana and that he has also failed to prove that he has been legally recognised and installed as the Kgosi of the Bagammangwato tribe.

The applicants have however in their opposition to the respondents’ notice to raise points in limine notified that they shall, at the hearing of the matter thoroughly oppose the aforesaid points.

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