Beef up security for judicial officers

Beef up security for judicial officers

THE break-in at the house of the acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Hlalefang Motinyane, is yet another vivid reminder of the need to beef up security for our judicial officers. This newspaper is reliably informed that the robbers got away with personal property whose value is still to be ascertained.

While no lives were lost during the break-in, we can only wonder what could have happened if they had found her inside the house.
We hope the break-in was not in any way connected with her work as a judicial officer. If that is so, the break-in would represent a chilling threat to the independence of judicial officers in Lesotho.

There is no doubt that the office of the DPP is a critical cog in dispensing justice in Lesotho. There is a high chance that in discharging her duties, she will step on the toes of the rich and powerful in society.
That is why it is critical that she, together with all other judicial officers such as judges and prosecutors, are accorded adequate security.
To fail to provide such security would leave our judicial officers badly exposed.

All of our judicial officers must feel safe to discharge their duties without fear that they will be molested by unhinged thugs amongst us.
We need not remind the government that ours is a society that is prone to use violence to settle scores.
There are individuals who are prepared to kill to push their nefarious agendas. Such individuals must be stopped in their tracks. Our judges and other judicial officers have raised the issue of security in the past.

We hope something has been done to ensure they discharge their duties in an environment of peace and security.
Lesotho has in recent years witnessed several high profile killings and other cases of attempted murder.
Sadly, there have been little success stories of the police arresting the culprits.

This trend has brewed a very negative perception among Basotho about the efficiency of our police in nabbing culprits.
Take for instance, the high profile killing of the former wife to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, Lipolelo Thabane, in June this year.
The nation still waits for a breakthrough on the matter.

It’s over two years now since unknown gunmen shot and seriously injured Zimbabwean journalist, Lloyd Mutungamiri.
His would-be assassins are also still roaming the streets.
Others have not been so fortunate.

There are scores of other individuals who were simply gunned down, with the killers simply walking away.
The point of the matter is that the government must beef up security for all judicial officers.
There have too many cases of violence, with devastating consequences, that we have witnessed in Lesotho over the years to leave this matter to chance.

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