The protracted case between the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and its former Board members finally ended this week with a checkmate for the organisation and a stalemate on costs.
The attorney for the former board members Uyapo Ndadi conceded to drop the case that has been dragging at Lobatse High Court saying there was no need to seek an interdiction order because it has been overtaken by events.
Last year in July, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng dissolved the troubled organisation organs to wit, the National Executive Committee, District Youth councils, the Ward Youth councils and the General Assembly. Towards the end of the year, Minister Olopeng appointed new board members.
“My lord we had a discussions with other attorneys that the matter has been overtaken by events and we move to review the application. We will not be seeking an interdict today but we break ranks on the issue of costs,” he said adding that the respondent’s lawyers wanted his clients to pay costs.
“The case has been dragging because of the suspension of Justice Letsididi and it has contributed to this and my clients cannot be penalised because it is not their fault,” argued Ndadi.
Meanwhile BNYC lawyer, Joseph Akoonyatse said the applicants brought the matter to court even though they knew that there is nothing that can stop the Minister from appointing a new board.
“The applicants were aware that there is nothing that can change the status quo. They could have withdrawn the application during the process. There was a risk that was assumed and it has materialised and someone has to pay,” he said adding that the issue of suspension of Justice Letsididi cannot be used as an excuse.
“The applicants approached court complaining about what was happening to them and it was clear that this matter was on their personal benefit rather than national interest as suggested by the counsel of the applicants,” argued Akoonyatse.Attorney General counsel, Boineelo Mosweu said the order of interdiction sought by the applicants was incompetent.
“There was nothing to interdict because BNYC was already dissolved when this application was made. This is just a private matter pursued by the applicants that is why we pray that the honorable court give order for them to pay the cost,” he said.Following this Acting Judge, Jennifer Dube made an order to the effect that both parties should pay their costs.