Ex-Magistrate to sue Khama

  • Wants reinstatement or compensation by the state
  • Says his dismissal letter was signed by PSP instead of Khama-a constitutional violation


Former Ghanzi Principal Magistrate, Thabo Malambane has finally served the state with a notice of intention to sue on the grounds that his dismissal was unlawful and riddled with mistakes.
Malambane was appointed by President Ian Khama in September 2010 and dismissed in 2014 on accusations of insubordination. This was after he boycotted presiding over cases brought before his court, demanding to be furnished with an explanation by the Regional Magistrate as to why a case that was registered before him was moved to Gaborone.
In his fresh arguments in his notice received by the state last-week, he says he was dismissed without being afforded a fair hearing. “The failure to afford the claimant a hearing prior to dismissal was contrary to the principles of fair justice and a contravention of the claimant’s right in law to audi alterum partem. As a direct consequence of the failure to afford the claimant a hearing prior to dismissal, the claimant’s dismissal was as a result procedurally unfair,” reads the notice which continues that “The claimant’s claim is against the president of Botswana, the administration of justice and the Judicial service commission.”
Malambane wants it ordered that he was unfairly and unlawfully dismissed and that the person who signed the letter dismissing him from his employment- Eric Molale, the then PSP- did not have authority to do so as the powers of the president to dismiss a judicial officer from employment cannot be delegated. Molale’s dismissal letter reads: “Consequently, I am directed to inform you that His Excellency has, in exercise of the powers vested in him by section 104 (2) (b) of the Constitution, decided to dismiss you from your position as Principal Magistrate with immediate effect.”
Malambane later reported President Khama to the Labour Department where the president was summoned to appear before a mediator on 19 June 2014. Khama however never showed up and this resulted in the mediator issuing a certificate under section 8 (11) of the Trade Dispute Act notifying both parties that they can refer the matter to the Industrial Court where Malambane’s claims were dismissed as he had not served the Attorney General.
In his fresh notice, Malambane who is represented by Aobakwe Monamo of Duma Boko & Co says he wants compensation for loss of income calculated as follows, salary until age of 60 years, 50 percent government contribution towards medical aid until attaining the age of 60 years, 780 leave days converted into cash, leave concessions until attaining 60 years converted into cash, cost of suit or alternative reinstatement with full benefits.
The applicant says he will proceed to claim relief if at the expiry of 30 days of the service of the notice the said relief has not been provided.
The AG then argued that she was not given statutory notice in accordance with section 4 of the State Proceedings Act and therefore that the proceedings before the court were a nullity.