Court slams the brakes on DISS pursuit of Khama

  • Says the appeal will be in its turn like all others
  • Reprimands DISS for self-created problems


The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) for an expedited appeal against former president Ian Khama.
DISS had wanted the Court of Appeal to hear the case as a matter of urgency since it believes that Khama could face charges of treason and that the guns concomitant to the case should be submitted to a ballistics expert to determine whether they are arms and ammunition of war.
“Applications for search and seizure warrants are done on an ex-parte basis for the purposes of preventing suspects from interfering with or destroying evidence before investigations can lay their hands on the same,” DISS said. “In the event that the appeal is to be heard in the normal process, the respondent will have more than sufficient time to temper with or even destroy evidence, thereby rendering the appeal moot.”
“The matter is of great public importance in that it affects a former president who potentially faces a charge of treason and it is imperative that it should be brought to finality sooner than later.”
DISS also argued that the ruling of Justice Ranier Busang (of Lobatse High Court) had halted its investigations and that the situation was compounded by the absence of the former president in the country.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Monametsi Gaongalelwe of the Court of Appeal dismissed the application and ordered that “the appeal will be allocated a date of hearing by the Registrar of this court in its turn like all other appeals”.
He said the challenges of the DISS are self-created in that they are they were the ones who sealed Khama’s premises and could not be the ones again complaining that they could not access the same place.
Dismissing the urgency, Justice Gaongalelwe said the DISS had reneged on its first agreement with Khama that they would come and collect the disputed properties. This, he said, cannot be the actions of an entity so desperate to get the properties in question.
The appeal to the Court of Appeal followed a ruling by Justice Ranier Busang of Lobatse High Court dismissing DISS’s application for a search and seizure warrant on former president Ian Khama’s property.