Augustine Ntshomane Makgonatsotlhe, who was appointed by the President as the new Ombudsman this week, is a distinguished legal practitioner and public servant who has extensive experience in the field of human rights. Prior to his latest appointment, he has served, since 2007, as the Secretary for Defence, Justice and Security in the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, where he has been responsible for ensuring that Botswana complies with her treaty obligations especially the reporting and domestication of human rights conventions, treaties and protocols under various human rights treaty bodies. He has also overseen Botswana's participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council and been in charge of our Refugee programme.
As Secretary for Defence, Justice and Security, Makgonatsotlhe has been further responsible for policy formulation and development of legislation. His duties have further included the coordination and participation of the ministry in meetings of various international and domestic bodies such as Inter-States Defence and Security Cooperation (ISDSC) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, Commonwealth and United Nations, as well as bilateral joint commissions of defence, justice and security with neighbouring states and the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC). From 2005 to 2007 he served as the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Administration) in the Office of the President, where he provided strategic leadership in the management and coordination of corporate services.
Makgonatsotlhe has also served (2003-2005) as the Chief State Counsel in the Attorney General's Chambers where he rendered legal advice to government on complex commercial, international trade and international law matters; negotiated and drafted commercial contracts and international agreements. Between 2000 and 2003, he acted as Legal Advisor to the Former President Sir Ketumile Masire who was then the Facilitator of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue which facilitated the negotiations for a new political dispensation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Before becoming Principal State Counsel in the Attorney General's Chambers in 1994 Mr. Makgonatsotlhe was a member of the Cease Fire Commission of the United Nations Mission in Mozambique (UNOMOZ) which was mandated to demobilize, demilitarize and resettle ex-combatants into society, during the Peace Process that led to the first multi-party elections in Mozambique in 1994. Makgonatsotlhe was born in Lobatse, Botswana. In 1987 he graduated from the University of Botswana with an LLB. He subsequently was awarded a Master’s Degree (LLM) from the University College of London in 1996.