Ketlogetswe rejects recusal plea

03 Dec 2023

Francistown High Court has dismissed the Independence Electoral Commission (IEC) application seeking the recusal of Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe in Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) case.

“The application for the recusal is dismissed with costs,” said Justice Ketlogetswe noting that the reasons would be given at a later stage.

The IEC application was a case within a case where UDC submitted a request to observe voters’ registration, a move opposed by IEC.

In the recusal application, IEC argued that should Justice Ketlogetswe preside over the case, he would be a judge in his cause as he would have to determine whether the panel he sat in would be lawfully constituted.

IEC lawyer, Mr Otsile Rammidi, argued that there was need to uphold the principle of a fair hearing, which included litigant’s rights to be heard by an impartial, unbiased and independent judge.

In his submission, UDC lawyer, Advocate Duma Boko said the IEC application relied on a narrow and crisp set of factual assertions.

He said the factual assertions presented by the applicant fell short of making out even the faintest case for the recusal of the judge.

Advocate Boko said the presumption of impartiality could only be displaced by cogent evidence, which passed the double reasonability test.

He said the requirements for an application of this nature to succeed were clear and well known.

“The inquiry that must engage this court is whether these requirements have been satisfied in the circumstances of the present application.”

Adv Boko said this matter was properly allocated to Judge Ketlogetswe in terms of the rules and applicable procedures. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : Francistown

Event : COURT

Date : 03 Dec 2023