Director and junior found guilty of contempt of court
Department of Road Transport and Safety, Acting Director, Godwin Tlhogo and his colleague, Diana Moremi are facing a possible three months jail sentence for contempt of court.
Last week Judge Abedigo Tafa found Tlhogo and Moremi guilty of contempt of court and convicted them accordingly after they had willfully disobeyed an order to issue a public transporter a licence to ply the Francistown- Seowe route.
Facts of the case are that sometime in March 2020 the Department of Road Transport and Safety took a decision not to entertain any ownership of vehicles held under hire purchase agreement by transport operators.
The decision was however successfully challenged in court by Mokoka Transport and plant hire (Pty) Ltd, Tshiamo Letshwti, DS Mabaleng coach tours (pty) Ltd, GTTH Services (Pty) Ltd, and Tiphe Transport Holdings (pty) Ltd.
The two officials from Road Transport and Safety were found in contempt after they had defied the court and went ahead to deny Mokoka bus operators’s application despite a court ruling that had set aside their decision to reject applications for vehicles held under hire purchase agreement by transport operators.
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Mokoka had applied for a substitution of one of their vehicles-a Volvo Bus B 588 BGL using another vehicle being an Iveco Bus B 204 BIO. The application for the bus, which was acquired under the hire purchase agreement from Mokhanda Travel and Tours (Pty) Ltd was rejected although it had been inspected and certified fit for use.
“In the eyes of the applicant, the respondents are in contempt of the order of this court issued on 26 March 2020. It is worth mentioning here, that the order was by consent,” reads the judgment delivered last week.
“The respondents have sought to subvert the order of the court by deliberately creating a new hurdle for the applicant. This they accomplished by reference to the road traffic act which has no application in the issuance of permits which is the preserve of the road transport (permits) Act,” further reads the judgment.
“In my judgment, the 2nd and 3rd respondents are in willful disobedience of the court order. In the premises they are found guilty of contempt of the court order and convicted accordingly,” concludes the judgment by Tafa.
Sentence will be delivered at the Gaborone High Court next week Wednesday.