The dragging tribunal hearing for the suspended Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) Advocate Mahlomola Manyokole has been deferred due to his legal representativeâ€™s murdered sibling.
The hearing which was penned for this week was further pushed back to give time for the defence counsel, Advocate Tekane Maqakachane to attend to matters relating to his sisterâ€™s death. The hearing has, therefore, been suspended to October 18 while the defence was directed to submit their answering paper on or before October 15, 2021.
A delegate, Katleho Nyabela who stood-in for Maqakachane on Tuesday in a tribunal hearing at the Manthabiseng Convention Centre, told the tribunal headed by Justice Teboho Moiloa, Semapo Peete and Polo Banyane that his senior was attending to the death of his sister Libuseng Maqakachane who was murdered in Butha-Buthe last week. He indicated that Maqakachane asked for some time to deal with the matter and also to be able to learn about the tribunal papers that he has been served with.
â€œHis suggestion is that he will be available on October 25, 2021 to November 5, 2021 and he would have prepared everything and filed his answers,â€ Nyabela said.
The presiding officer Justice Moiloa and the assessors considered the submissions and moved for the postponement while also charging that the counsels have to respect the given time of hearing to avoid late commencement of the cases.
â€œWe have to give consideration to that issue. The respondent must submit the answers on October 15, 2021 and the trial will be heard on the following Monday which is October 18, 2021,â€ he said.
â€œThis matter has been dragging because we have been trying to accommodate everyone. Yesterday I recommended that you attempt to communicate with each other so that we agree on the way forward today,â€ Moiloa said.
â€œWhen the time is set for hearing, counsels must respect that time and arrive earlier so that we start at the given time. With effect from the next sitting, we will start at 0930hrs and I want all the parties available to start, I want to believe that is not difficult because it is a normal time for court cases,â€ he continued.
The applicantâ€™s representative advocate Christopher Lephuthing alongside Monaheng Rasekoai, confirmed that he agreed with Maqakachane to attend the hearing but the latter had pointed to some commitments.
â€œMay I confirm my undertaking had been fulfilled; respondents are served with documents as requested, in fact, he received them today although we filed with the office yesterday,â€ he said.
â€œI spoke to advocate Maqakachane telephonically yesterday in the evening where I impressed on him to be present because it wouldnâ€™t be fair if he delegates someone. I informed him that it has taken too long for us to finalise this hearing and I reminded him that a tribunal is just an investigative tool that must deal with an inquiry and now that the executive is the complainant in the matter, some of the issues must be dealt with expeditiously.
â€œSo I expected him to be present so that when we do the prehearing conference, it is with his physical presence and participation. He informed that he has some commitments for today but will make it here at 10 so that he proceeds to the assignment thereafter,â€ said Lephuthing.
He added that Maqakachane proposed that he be given a full month for him to consult and read the discovered documents.
â€œWe couldnâ€™t agree because for me there are compelling considerations which need his physical presence,â€ he said.
Maqakachane told this publication yesterday that the murder of her sister is the one which made rounds on social media platforms where two children were left on the street while the mother was found lifeless aloof. He said the matter is being handled by the police.
â€œYes it is the matter of children who were found on the street with their mother murdered. The matter is now in the police hands as they are the ones conducting the investigations, so we donâ€™t know if they have found any leads,â€ Maqakachane said.