President Ian Khama has defended his decision to suspend four judges of the High Court. Khama says his decision is final and not reviewable. The president stated this in court papers filed at the Lobatse High Court this week. The four judges are suing him for suspending them pending investigations.
Khama late last month suspended four High Court Judges Justice Key Dingake, Justice Modiri Letsididi, Justice Mercy Garekwe and Justice Ranier Busang for undermining the Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo and bringing the judiciary into disrepute. According to Khama the judges’ application as it stands is misconceived in so far as it is based on the erroneous assumption that ‘my decision is reviewable’. He stated in the court papers that the applicants have not demonstrated the existence of sound prospects for his decision being set aside at the envisaged review.
“I have been advised that my decision is not susceptible to review by this honourable court, alternatively, should this court find that my said decision is indeed reviewable, that I have a discretion under Section 97 of the Constitution, to suspend the applicants pending the finalisation of the investigation to be carried out by the Tribunal which I have set up in terms of the provisions of the Constitution of this republic. Insofar as the discretion reposed in me is concerned, I respectfully submit, that I exercised that discretion duly, properly and lawfully”, said Khama. He requested the court to dismiss the application.
The case which was set for hearing on Thursday this week has been postponed to the 28th of September 2015 at the Lobatse High Court. Khama suspended the quartet for challenging Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo's move to report them to the police for receiving housing allowances while staying in official residences.