‘Dishonest’ BCP humiliated

Daniel Chida

Saleshando and fail to stop govt’s P58 million Tautona Lodge purchase

President of Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Dumelang Saleshando, and his Secretary General, Goretetse Kekgonegile, were on Wednesday berated by the High Court for acting in a “highly reprehensible and dishonest” manner in the way they handled their case against government’s acquisition of Tauntona Lodge.

Representing BCP, the duo sought an order review and setting aside the decision of the government to acquire the entire shareholding of Tautona Lodge in a case against Minister of State President, Kabo Morwaeng, the Attorney General, Tautona Lodge, Christian de Graaf, Patrick Manthe and the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB).

When delivering the judgment by a three-man panel, Presiding Judge, Nthomiwa Nthomiwa, said that the BCP crew brought their review proceedings late without having obtained the requisite leave and further failed to file their answer to the application to strike out within the prescribed period of 14 days. Nthomiwa further noted that Morwaeng’s affidavit explained clearly the circumstances relating to the acquisition of the lodge.

“Morwaeng states that the subject of litigation, being when government became the shareholder, is a matter that is now in the public domain.”

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“In our view, if the plaintiffs had done basic information search, that information could have been immediately apparent to them. To either fail to ascertain this information or ignore it is highly reprehensible and highly dishonest,” stated the judge before adding that the court believes that the BCP team acted with mala fide by bringing an action which they knew could have been brought as review application .

He said that where one deliberately adopts a procedure intended at avoiding adverse legal consequences and safeguards, he is clearly abusing court procedures and therefore risks having his case dismissed

“They further failed to file their papers when they should have, within the prescribed period. In our view, their conduct – throughout the case – warrants punitive costs to be ordered against them,” said the Judge before dismissing their case with costs.

The BCP took the matter to court after government bought Tautona Lodge in Gantsi, including a farm that accommodates it in 2021. The facility that belonged to former minister, Christain de Graaf, was controversially purchased at the sum of P58 million. Meanwhile, Saleshando told this publication after the loss that his lawyers were still studying the judgment. “After going through it, they will advise us on the way forward,” added the BCP President.

'Dishonest' BCP humiliated
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