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Courts padlocked

Business

Mohloai Mpesi

The Lesotho Judiciary has announced a closure of courts services due to the 14 days’ national lockdown imposed by the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro in his state address on Tuesday night.

The Judiciary released a circular this week addressed to the Honourable Attorney General, the Principal Secretary-Justice, the Director of Public Prosecution, the Director General-DCEO, Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Correctional Service, the Chief Magistrate, Chief Legal and Counsel, Senior Judicial Commissioner, Dean of faculty of law, President of law society, All Legal Practitioners, All Prosecutors, All members of the Public.

The circular however, explains that essential services will be provided in a scheduled time designed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.            

“Pursuant to the official statement issued by The Right Honourable Prime-Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Right Honourable Dr Moeketsi Majoro, in which he ordered a countrywide total lockdown from January 14, 2021 to January 27, 2021 the general public, court users and all stakeholders are advised to take note of the services which the judiciary will be offering,” the circular reads.

“The judicial shall operate as follows; the High Court shall hear bail applications only on Mondays from 10:00am. A judge on-call shall stay at home ready to avail himself to entertain extremely urgent matters throughout this period.

Whenever there is an urgent application to be moved, the office of the registrar shall be contacted on the following numbers: 57527071, 58954218, 59441301, and 58788711.

The letter continues that the Master of High Court will be available from Wednesday at 09:00hours in the morning until midday for emergency only, while the subordinate courts will be accessible on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10hours in the morning.    

“Only services related to accessing monies from Guardians’ funds shall be availed in respect of emergency (food and medical purposes) on Wednesday from 09:00am to 1:00pm.

“The office of the Master shall be accessible on the following telephones 58071503 and 50522639.

“In the subordinate courts, the Magistrate will be available only on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm of each week to deal with urgent criminal matters (including remands and bails). Inmates shall not be brought to court unless it is absolutely necessary. “There shall be no business at all by the Central and Local Courts during this period. The management of the magistrate shall be contacted on following numbers 58884073, 63056205, 58034768,” he said.     

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