â€¦as tribunal matter takes new twist
The lengthy spat between the suspended Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) Advocate Mahlomola Manyokole with the Government of Lesotho has taken a different twist.
The litigants in the matter bolted Manyokoleâ€™s bid to have the High Court of Lesotho review tribunalâ€™s decision citing that the latter has not paid their due costs after losing twice in a case before Justice Moroke Mokhesi in February 2021 and in the Appeal Court in May of the same year.
The court bid is Manyokoleâ€™s attempt to have decisions of an ongoing tribunal setup to test his fitness to hold office, challenged.
According to Manyokoleâ€™s legal counsel, advocate Tekane Maqakachane, the Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloaâ€™s legal team comprised of advocates Christopher Lephuthing, Monaheng Rasekoai and Kuili Ndebele blocked their move to the High Court before Justice Keketso Moahloli seeking that the costs amounting to M64 000 be settled first.
The case has been penned for March 8, 2022 where the plaintiffs are expected to file their argument papers.
Manyokole was first accused by the former Minister of Law and Justice Professor Nqosa Mahao who wanted to remove him from the helm of DCEO citing ineptitude in December 2020 which elongated to January 2021 but Manyokole refused to follow his directives and was followed with a series of show cause letters, quizzing why he canâ€™t be brought before tribunal to test his fitness to hold office.
He challenged the endeavour at the High Court but the case was dismissed with costs by Justice Mokhesi, which decision he had sought to challenge in the Appeal Court but met the same fate.
Manyokole was then forced to appear before a three-membered tribunal chaired by the retired Justice Teboho Moiloa working alongside the retired Justice Semapo Peete and Justice Polo Banyane.
â€œThey have blocked the case and want us to pay costs of High Court which was delivered by Justice Mokhesi and Appeal court judgments. They have been keeping quite all along until we started Tribunal cases; it is now that they want us to pay the costs when we seek the High Courtâ€™s intervention to review tribunalâ€™s decision,â€ Maqakachane said.
A move to review the tribunal decisions emerged after he sought Justice Moiloaâ€™s recusal from the tribunal citing conflict of interests as he had been probed by Manyokole on corruption allegations in a number of instances.
He also contested that the eight weeks expiration of tribunalâ€™s period lapsed after it commenced its duties on June 4, 2021 (alternatively, August 2, 2021) and on the termination of such period thereafter, the Tribunal did not have in law any mandate or function to discharge, and the continuation of the Tribunal proceedings without the necessary extension.
Maqakachane indicated their readiness to argue the matter as they have been ordered to file their arguments â€œâ€¦and we are ready to argue the matter.â€
â€œTribunal said it will not continue until our High Court matter has been finalised so we have nothing to lose,â€ he said.
The matter has been postponed to March 8, 2022 for argument of costs while the tribunal issue has been iced for a while.