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Office of the President (OP)
Founding Ombudsman Mr. Lethebe Amos Maine passes on
06/12/11

It is with deepest sorrow and regret that the Office of the Ombudsman announces the untimely death of the founding Ombudsman of Botswana Mr. Lethebe Amos Maine, who passed on, last week Friday (02-12-12) at his horticultural farm, situated in the Kgatleng district. The cause of his death is not yet established; Police investigations are still ongoing. Sadly, the death of Mr. Maine follows that of his successor, Mr. Ofentse Lepodise, who passed away barely two months ago.

Born 62 years ago in Mafikeng, South Africa, the late Mr. Maine, was a lawyer and the very first Motswana to be appointed Acting Judge of the High Court and was appointed the first Ombudsman for the Republic of Botswana on 1st December 1997. He served two consecutive 4-year terms as the Ombudsman from December 1997 to November 2005.

As the country’s first Ombudsman, Mr. Maine was faced with a mammoth task of establishing the office with no precedent. This entailed a great deal of hard work, which included much networking and benchmarking across the world. He led the Ombudsman office from an infantile stage to an institution with strategic focus by the time he left in 2005.

In addition to being Ombudsman for the Republic of Botswana, Mr. Maine contributed significantly to the development of the Ombudsman Institution in Africa and abroad. He served as the President for the Africa Ombudsman Association from 2001 to 2003. He was later appointed Vice President for the International Ombudsman Institute (Africa Region), a world body for Ombudsman Institutions with a membership of over 150 countries. Mr. Maine has also served the local community as Patron of Motswedi Community based Rehabilitation Centre in his home village Mochudi. He also served in the Board of Advisers of International Institute For Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).

Mr. Lethebe Maine’s career as a lawyer dates back to 1974, when he started as a young State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers. In 1976, he went into private practice until 1997 when he was appointed the country’s first Ombudsman.

Mr. Lethebe Maine is survived by his wife, five children, his mother and seven siblings. His funeral will be held in Gaborone at Phakalane on Friday (09- 12-11).

-ENDS-

For more information please contact: Fenny E. Letshwiti The Office of Ombudsman Public Relations, TEL: 395 3322., eletshwiti@gov.bw

 

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