The duo, Sydney Mogapi and Marang Motswetla, had sued the then Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Molale and BERA after he fired them from the BERA board in 2019.
They wanted the court to review and set aside the minister’s decision to remove them from the board and were seeking to be reinstated with back-pays and all benefits.
It is stated that in August 2017 the duo signed respective contracts for the positions of executive board members of BERA to operate for five years in line with Section 10 of the BERA Act and their contracts were to expire on August 1, 2022.
However, it is stated that in May 2019 the duo received letters from the former minerals minister suspending them from their positions as board members pending an enquiry on their performance. They were later removed from the board on August 27, 2019.
In his judgement delivered on Friday, Gaborone High Court Judge Tshepo Motswagole struck out the matter without dealing with the merits of the review application.
Justice Motswagole stated that the matter
is not properly before the court as the applicants have failed to institute the review application within four months of making the decision sought to be reviewed as required by the Rules of Court.
He said the applicants ought to have sought leave of the court to lodge the review application out of time.
It is said that the minister’s decision to remove the two ex-board members was made on August 27, 2019, but it was not until February 11, 2020 that the duo lodged their application with the Court Registry.
“In conclusion, I am satisfied that this matter having been instituted after four months of the making of the decision sought to be reviewed, without first seeking and obtaining leave of the court, it is not properly before the court and ought to be struck out. I need not consider other issues raised,” Motswagole said in his judgement.
The duo had argued that the minister’s decision to fire them was irrational as there was no evidence before him that they were guilty of any misconduct.