A case in which former Ghanzi Principal Magistrate Thabo Malambane has taken President Ian Khama to court for unlawful dismissal has been set for status hearing at the Gaborone Industrial Court on 29th March. Honourable Justice Harold Ruhukya of the Gaborone Industrial Court is expected to preside over the case where Malambane, through his attorneys Duma Boko & Company is suing the president together with the Attorney General, Judicial Service Commission and the Administration of Justice. In his court papers, Malambane is seeking an order that the decision to dismiss him from work in April 2014 was unlawful and he wants compensation instead of re-instatement.
President Khama expelled Malambane from the magistracy in April 2014 on accusations of insubordination. This was after he boycotted presiding over cases brought before his court and demanded that the Regional Magistrate should furnish him with an explanation as to why a case that was registered before him had been moved to Gaborone without his consent. Malambane thereafter filed a case of unfair dismissal with the Commissioner of Labour and when President Khama failed to turn up for a mediation meeting at the Labour department after the dismissal, the embattled former magistrate served government with notice of intention to sue for unfair dismissal. In his statutory notice of intention to sue, Malambane had contended that his summary dismissal from the magistracy was unlawful in that he was not afforded any prior fair hearing.
At the upcoming status hearing, Malambane’s lawyers will argue that the Judicial Service Commission that sat and recommended his dismissal to the president was chaired by the complainant, being the then Acting Chief Justice Walia who is now judge at the court of appeal. Malambane’s legal team will also seek to demonstrate that Registrar of the High Court Michael Mothabi was incompetent to sit in the JSC meeting as he was a potential witness if ever there was a misconduct of failure to obey lawful orders by Malambane.