THE boycott of the Media Appeals Committee by the Law Society of
Botswana has thrown the spanner in the works for the Minister of
Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi. Moitoi
has been forced to temporarily halt the convening of the committee as
she seeks further advice on the matter, writes Oliver Modise in Mmegi.

This comes in the wake of the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) position that it would not recommend anyone to sit on the newly-appointed Media Appeals Committee until government and media houses sort out their differences.

The Minister has indicated that plans to assemble a Media Appeals Committee will remain on hold until she has sought legal advice from Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme.

The law society recently held its annual general meeting in Francistown and resolved to decline the minister's offer because of the Media Practitioners Act.

Section 15 of the Media Practitioners Act explicitly mandates LSB to recommend to the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology a lawyer to chair the Appeals Committee.

"We will have to seek advice from the Attorney General," Minister Venson-Moitoi said yesterday when contacted by Mmegi on lawyers' stance regarding the Media Practitioners Act.

In a separate interview, chairman Tebogo Sebego revealed that the LSB has written to the ministry informing the minister about its decision not to recommend anyone to sit on the Appeals Committee. However, Venson-Moitoi stated that she has not received the letter yet.

"Once we have their letter, we will then respond," said Venson-Moitoi.

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