Botswana shows keen interest in SA court system

By Mokgethwa Ngoepe, Internal Communication

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha, MP, recently welcomed delegates and members of the Botswana judiciary who are on a five day visit to South Africa to learn more on the country’s judiciary system.

Advocate Masutha welcomed the delegates including the Gaborone High Court Division Judge Oagile Key Dingake, Judge Mercy Garekwe, Mr Bafi Nianda and Ms Juliana Angela Dube-Akande. They are on a five-day visit in the country, from 1 – 5 June 2015.

The Botswana judiciary, which is currently experiencing challenges in the proper administration of justice, came to South Africa to learn more on how the country’s courts operates particularly in managing finances in courts.

During discussions, the Botswana delegation indicated that their country sometimes ran out of money for running judicial functions including funds for travelling of magistrates and judges. Judge Dingake said; “These administrative problems result in courts not functioning effectively and efficiently, hence we came to South Africa to learn more in these areas of operation.”

The visit was also aimed at conducting a benchmarking exercise on the institutional and financial independence of the judiciary of the Republic of South Africa, given the fact that the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) got its vote account for the first time, as announced by Minister Masutha in his Budget Vote speech recently.

The minister thanked the Botswana delegation for their willingness to improve their financial management and also emulate what the South African judiciary is doing with regards to the effective functioning of courts whilst avoiding case backlogs.

“The management of the judicial functions of each court is the responsibility of the head of court including any matter affecting the dignity, accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency or functioning of courts,” remarked the minister.

He added that the OCJ, as head of the judiciary as contemplated in Section 165 (6) of the Constitution, has the responsibility over establishing and monitoring the norms and standards in exercising the judicial functions of all courts.



Published: 09 Jun 2015