- But PSP has referred similar complaint against Chief Justice to Judicial Service Commission
- Judicial officers say this demonstrates double standards at OP
The Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Emma Peloetletse, is “not aware of any probe on Minister Kabo Morwaeng following allegations brought before President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s attention by Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe that Morwaeng attempted to influence him in the former Minister Dr Thapelo Matsheka’s child murder case”, the PSP has said.
This revelation shows remarkable inconsistency at the Office of the President because a similar concern raised in the same letter against Chief Justice Terrence Rannowane was recently referred to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for investigation.
The double standards are not lost on judicial officers. “They referred the matter to the JSC because they believed there was a prima facie case against the Chief Justice but turned a blind eye on another part of the complaint, one of their own – Morwaeng,” said a judicial officer who preferred anonymity
Murmurs in the corridors
“This is bound to lend some credibility to prevailing claims of judicial interference against the presidency, if it is not well attended to. Judicial officers have been murmuring about it in the corridors.”
On 11 August 2022, Justice Ketlogetswe registered “a complaint of misbehaviour on the part of the Honourable Chief Justice” and asked the President “to consider subjecting the Honourable Chief Justice to an enquiry into his fitness to continue holding judicial office as Chief Justice.”
In the same letter, Justice Ketlogetswe raised a similar complaint against Minister Kabo Morwaeng, accusing him and the Chief Justice of having attempted to influence him in Matsheka’s child murder case in which Matsheka is now suing the state for P10.7 million.
Still regarding Morwaeng in the same letter, Justice Ketlogetswe said he “left it to the President to consider the appropriate action to take with a view to protecting the independence of the Judiciary from undue interference by those holding public office”.
Responding to Gazette questions about whether he is happy with the status of the matter against Morwaeng and the Chief Justice recently, Justice Ketlogetswe responded quite tersely. “Please allow me not to answer the question,” he said.