Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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No foreign judges for high profile cases


Mohloai Mpesi

Cases in the High Court are predicted to move in a snail’s pace after the Botswana born judge presiding in high profile cases in the High Court of Lesotho, Justice Onkemetse Tshosa resigned from his duties.  

This was confirmed by the Judiciary’s Public Relations Officer, ‘Mabohlokoa Mapikitla yesterday. That the Justice Tshosa has resigned with effect from the end of this month.

Mapikitla said the reasons for Tshosa’s resignation are personal and would not be disclosed, saying that the act is going to add on the already burdened judiciary’s backlog.     

“Yes Justice Tshosa has resigned from job due to his personal reasons that we cannot disclose unless we get permission from him,” she said.

Tshosa was presiding in the High Profile cases that include the treason where the politicians; Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’s leader Mothetjoa Metsing and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) Selibe Mochoboroane.

The duo is set to join their co-accused, former army Commander Tlali Kamoli, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Lance Corporal Leutsoa Motsieloa and Motloheloa Ntsane on treason charges which failed to kick start this Monday owing to Tshosa bowing out.  

Tshosa was appointed in 2019 alongside to preside alongside his learned colleagues, Justice Charles Hungwe from Zimbabwe and Justice Kabelo Lebotse from Botswana to chair-over-eight high profile cases.   

The judges who are paid by the European Union complained about remunerations and poor working conditions which ultimately propelled Lebotse to hand his resignation last May.  

“His cases will be shared accordingly to other judges. It is true that we already have a backlog of cases due to the reason that some judges went to retire while some passed awaym she said.

Mapikitla told this publication that the resignation of Tshosa is going to cause a pile of cases as those that were before him has to be shared to other judges.

The said cases were allocated to the foreign judges with the initiative to avoid political biasness that may compromise the verdict by the local judges. Although she mentioned that the cases will be distributed to other judges accordingly, she also denied that there will be new judges to be employed to preside over the cases.

This means that Justice Hungwe is set to be a jack of all trades as the only judge presiding on the High profile cases.   

“A single case to sit need time, research and many things need to be considered before passing judgment of a certain case, with a lot of cases accruing, there is too much accrual likely to affect the orchestration of the courts,” she said.

“This is also exacerbated by the high profile cases that need a lot of attention, so the judiciary has decided to split his cases to other judges who are also presiding on the cases of such caliber,” she said.  

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