See also:
» 28.01.2011 - Botswana split over Kalahari court ruling
» 01.06.2010 - Botswana sued over San people's water access
» 23.02.2010 - Botswana and Zimbabwe irons out difference
» 09.02.2010 - Khama accused of trampling on Bushmen’s rights
» 16.02.2009 - Botswana passports could be at risk
» 16.01.2009 - Journalists organisation criticises new media law
» 29.10.2008 - Victory for Botswana bushmen as mining company withdraws
» 21.10.2008 - South Africa and Botswana discuss military cooperation

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"No crisis in Botswana justice," govt

afrol News, 19 November - Botswana's Attorney General today denied allegations of a crisis in the country's justice system, as reported this week in the 'Botswana Gazette'. The newspaper claimed a large number of staff had announced their resignation, leaving Botswana's tribunals to be run "by foreigners from Banana Republics where the rule of law does not exist."

The 'Botswana Gazette' of 17 November carried a large front-page story headlined "Crisis of Justice" in which it was suggested that the Attorney General's Chambers is "likely to lose a number of senior staff members." Also middle and junior staff were said to have tendered their resignations and "will be leaving at the end of the year."

As a consequence of this big loss of qualified Batswana personnel, the 'Botswana Gazette' found, the Attorney General would have to hire foreigners "from Banana Republics where the rule of law does not exist." A "crisis of justice" would be the ultimate consequence.

This report provoked strong reactions in the offices of the Attorney General, who issued a press release this morning, strongly denying the allegations put forward in the 'Botswana Gazette'.

- In fact the number of officers leaving Chambers is the lowest for many years, the statement reads. While the Attorney General could verify several of the senior staff member resignations anticipated by the article, turnover at his offices would nevertheless not be at a critical level this year.

The Attorney General described the leaving senior staff members as "highly valued and experienced officers whom we would not wish to lose." The statement also denies allegations in the 'Botswana Gazette' that some of these officers were "being pushed out" or even "forced" to leave. "Certainly they are not being pushed, and we would happily retain their services," today's statement maintains.

- There are no "victims" of a "major shake-up" in the Attorney General's Chambers, the statement emphasised. There had been a restructuring exercise, which was commenced by former Attorney General Phandu Skelemani. But this restructuring had led to the strengthening of the office, with 44 new posts have been allocated by government, the Attorney General holds.

The Attorney General also reacted strongly to the "Banana Republic" remarks by the 'Botswana Gazette'. "The Chambers employs a small number of officers from elsewhere in Africa who have offered their skills," the statement explains.

- They are highly trained professionals who add considerable value, the Attorney General goes on. "The derogatory reference to foreigners in the sub-headline of the 'Gazette' story is offensive and uncalled for," he adds.

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