In court papers making his case before the Lobatse High Court against Business Weekly and Review publication, prominent lawyer Parks Tafa muses and gloats in the same breadth about his part in the success story of Collins Newman and Company (CNC) legal firm.
Tafa who qualified as a practicing attorney in 1991 and became Managing partner at Collins Newman and Company in 2004 says that, “I am consistently rated by major legal surveys and publications (such as Chambers Global, PLC Which Lawyer? and IFLR 1000) as a ‘band 1’ leader in my field of practice, which is largely corporate and transactional in nature.”
He also says that Senior Partner at CNC Rizwan Desai who has been his partner since 2000 is also consistently rated as a ‘band one’ leader by major legal surveys and publications and is regarded as one of the leading corporate and transactional lawyers in Botswana and enjoys recognition amongst his peers and clients alike.
The Harvard School of Law educated Desai is former Chairman of Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and is presently Chairman of the board of directors of Barclays Bank of Botswana Limited while Tafa is Chairman of the University of Botswana Council, Stanbic Bank Limited and Wilderness Safari’s, respectively.
Tafa continues: “I have also acted as an advisor to past three Presidents of Botswana in various regulatory matters and I am frequently consulted by various spheres of government.”
He also says that Collins Newman and Company which has been operating as a law firm in 1997 is an established leader in the field of commercial advice and litigation and is the largest firm in Botswana. He also asserts its excellence by saying that, “presently it is a member of a prestigious Africa Legal Network (ALN) group of leading law firms across the continent.”
Tafa also in his evidence continues to say that, CNC counts among its blue chip clientele domestic and international firms such as Anglo American, Standard Chartered Bank, First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, GE Capital, Hana Mining Limited Sasol Petroleum, Cathay Fortune Investments, JP Morgan and Deutshe Bank among others.
He says that in the country CNC also acts as an advisor to many government and statutory institutions such as Bank of Botswana, Botswana Power Corporation, Debswana, BCL Limited, Botswana Meat Commission, Botswana Oil, Botswana Ash, Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme, University of Botswana and Botswana Telecommunications Corporation among others.
He also adds that his firm has throughout always sought to employ only the best available legal talent in the country, before citing the paper he is suing when it described CNC as “…one of the country’s most prominent legal law firms” and as a “go-to legal firm for the corporate sector and the political leadership.”
CNC is representing Bank of Botswana in an on-going case which was bungled by a CNC attorney, one Bokani Machinya after she was found to have forged court papers. Bank of Botswana is being sued by EBC Guernsey Limited in respect to losses it is said to have incurred as a result of the collapse of Kingdom Bank Africa Limited.
Tafa also adds: “the preservation of CNC’s reputation is dear and important to me. Naturally the preservation of my own reputation and that of Desai is equally important.” he continues, “We care about what members of the public think about CNC not because this is necessary for the purposes of our professional dealings, but also because it has always been a source of pride for Desai and myself as individuals,” he says.
He further said that he is the longest serving professional in CNC and thus he considers himself the primary guardian of its well ‘established reputation’ and never before has CNC hauled one of its attorney before Law Society of Botswana (LSB) except concerning the forgery incident with Machinya.
If monetary figures on his resume are anything to go by, calculations would indicate that Tafa has presided over purchases and procurements, transferrals of movable and immovable assets, syndicated financing, negotiating of maintenance and operation agreements, presiding over acquisition of assets and buildings, real estate developments, secondary listings and recapitalisations among others cumulatively worth $ 7, 9 billion or P 79, 23 billion.
Calculations would also indicate on Desai’s resume that he has also presided over a wide spectrum of corporate and commercial transactions ranging from Initial Public Offerings, demutualisation, acquisitions and re-acquisitions, restructuring activities, inward listings and cash injections among others, valued at $4.25 billion or P45.49 billion.
The case in which Tafa wants to interdict the publication awaits ruling.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.