A Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) pilot wo took the spy agency to court for what he termed unfair demotion has lost his case.
When delivering judgement on Wednesday, Justice Letsididi said that the pilot, Opelonomi Edwin Matlhagela, was primarily employed as an intelligence officer and not as a pilot therefore his duties as a pilot were secondary.
The court also ruled that the DISS Director General is empowered in terms of the intelligence Act to redeploy an officer in accordance with the exigencies of the organisation.
Matlhagela had argued in court that he was demoted from his position of the Air Wing Division (Unit) of the DISS to its Corporate Services Division,as a clerk, for allegedly opting to take instruction from former Spy Chief, Isaac Kgosi to fly Former President Ian Khama to his compound in Mosu.
Matlhagela took the instruction from Kgosi who was his boss then despite President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s resfusal to lend the former president an aircraft late last year.
Kgosi had then lent him (Khama) the spy agency’s aircraft, a move that infuriated Masisi, however Matlhagela was also at the receiving end of the bitter feud for actig on Kgosi’s instructions.
Matlhagela then sought the court assistance asking them to review and set aside the decision to redeploy him and to ground him.
Matlhagela argued that on July 27, 2018 he received the redeployment letter which read “You are hereby redeployed from the Air Wing to Corporate Services Division as the Air Liaison Officer. The redeployment is on your present salary scale and it is with immediate effect”.
He had wanted the court to review the decision and declare it unlawful, unreasonable and thus null and void and that he be consequently redeployed to his previous position as a pilot in the Air Wing unit with immediate effect.