. . . As faction goes after Chief Justice

. . . As faction goes after Chief Justice

MASERU – MEMBERS of an All Basotho Convention (ABC) faction battling to take over control of the party from Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s group say they are planning to march on Chief justice ‘Maseforo Mahase to press her against taking sides in the party’s leadership dispute.
The newly-elected ABC chairperson, Sam Rapapa, said there will be a march to protest against

Chief Justice Mahase, alleging she has been holding secret meetings with former party secretary-general Samonyane Ntsekele.
Rapapa did not say when the march will be held.
Also, Rapapa did not reveal details of the alleged meetings between the country’s top judge and Ntsekele.

thepost was unable to verify this allegation.
He was speaking at a rally held by his faction in Mohale’s Hoek on Sunday.
Speaking at the same rally, faction head and party deputy leader, Professor Mahao, claimed there were attempts to arm twist and influence the judiciary.
Apart from the public fights, Mahao and Thabane’s factions are tussling in court for the control of the ruling party in the courts.

Justice Mahase is yet to deliver judgement in a case in which some members of the outgoing committee is challenging the election of Professor Nqosa Mahao and his team into the committee.
Judgement was supposed to be delivered on March 29, but the case has dragged because Justice Mahase is allegedly unwell.

Professor Mahao said the government did not cut the budget for the judiciary but he was surprised to hear some people saying there are no funds for the Court of Appeal.
Mahao claimed the interference in the work of the judiciary was reminiscent of the previous Congress government’s actions.
He alleged that last week, there was a command to Judicial Service Commission to appoint a court secretary who was to derail the Court of Appeal proceedings.
He did not specify where the alleged command emanated from.
“Luckily enough the Judicial Service Commission refused, saying the post was not advertised,” he claimed.

Mahao said after that plan failed there is now a move to collapse the work of Court of Appeal so that Basotho who need to approach it do not get chance to do so.
The Court of Appeal shut down, claiming that there was no money to pay foreign judges hired to hear several cases.
The government has criticized the decision, insisting that money is available to keep the Apex court’s door open.

Senior court officials however insist that the courts are broke.
In February Justice Mahase warned of the impending closure after revealing that the courts are in a financial crisis because of continued budgetary cuts.
She said there was a danger that the Court of Appeal might not have any sessions this year because it has been allocated funds to cover only allowances for judges and nothing for their accommodation and allowances.

Justice Mahase said the judiciary was in “perpetual panic mode” because it fears that its budget will be trimmed again.
“We are forever mistreated by successive governments, read the Executive and Parliament, as the proverbial whipping boys poorest cousins of three (3) organs of State,” Justice Mahase said.
If this “unfortunate pernicious state of affairs” continues it is only the court officials who suffer but “this justice-starved and service-starved impoverished and demoralized nation”.
“They will suffer immeasurably”.

Nkheli Liphoto


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