Watch your mouth

Judge Moroka warns politicians over contemptuous statements

A furious Francistown High Court President, Judge Lot Moroka has threatened to summon political leaders to court to explain some of the statements they make on local media.

Moroka, who was presiding in the Electoral Voting Machines (EVM) case lodged by Botswana Congress Party (BCP) against the Attorney General, said he was not happy that some political leaders blame courts for the case’s delay.

“I read somewhere where one political leader is accusing the court of delaying this matter. We may have to call that political leader to come here and explain his statement,” fumed Moroka, who warned this was potentially a contempt of court offence.

The visibly concerned Judge said while it is clear that the plaintiffs and the defendant are to blame for the matter’s failure to go for trial on the allocated days of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, political leaders were building a false perception that courts are responsible for the delay.

“To attribute this delay to court is disingenuous. You must warn your political leaders that they are not above the law. At an opportune time, we’ll call them to court to explain themselves,” continued an infuriated Moroka.

The no nonsense Judge further revealed that the issue of delayed judgements and backlog of cases featured prominently at the just ended 2018 Judiciary Stakeholders Conference in Francistown.

He stressed it is an issue that as Judges they intend to address, citing the example of attorneys who plead for matters to be stood down claiming that they are yet to receive instructions.

“What it means technically is that DPP (Directorate of Public Prosecution) or AG is not represented. The issue of non attendance by the DPP should be dealt with,” he stated, before voicing his disappointment that the EVM matter could not go for trial on the allocated dates.

The case has been postponed to 29 November.

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