Drama as lawyer says barred from court

Drama as lawyer says barred from court

MASERU – COURT of Appeal judges were stunned last night when a litigant in the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s case told them that his lawyer had been barred from court.
The litigant, Motseki Lefera, was referring to Advocate Thulo Hoeane who last Tuesday helped him and other applicants get a High Court order declaring the ABC special conference unlawful.
That controversial order, granted by Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase, is now being challenged in the Court of Appeal.

Lefera, who now has to defend the order, told a coram of three foreign judges, Justices Phillip Musonda, Moses Chinhengo and November Mtshiya that his lawyer had told him that he would not be representing him.
He said Adv Hoeane had told him that a registrar had told him never to set foot at the court.
“I don’t know where my lawyer is, my Lords,” Lefera told the stunned judges.
“I asked him why he was not going to represent me and he responded that the court’s registrar told him to never be seen in the court premises.”

Advocate Hoeane could not be reached for comment before going to print last night.
The new committee which is led Professor Nqosa Mahao is challenging Justice Mahase’s order. Apart from declaring the special conference illegal Justice Mahase gave the old committee authority to run the ABC’s affairs until May next year and amend the constitution to prepare for elections.

The Court of Appeal had to postpone the case to Friday next week because Lefera did not have legal representation.
Representing the new committee, Attorney ’Mabatšoeneng Hlaele argued that Justice Mahase should have combined Lefera’s case with the main case in which other party members are challenging the special conference’s results.

She said instead the judge granted the order despite that she was still to deliver judgement in the main case that was been before her for the past three months.
Attorney Hlaele argued that Justice Mahase knew that the initial case was urgent but had kept postponing the case. Justice Mahase issued that order less than a day after it was brought before her.

Attorney Hlaele argued Justice Mahase could have consolidated the two applications because they challenged the same thing, albeit in different words and phrases.
“ABC is a big political party with a large number of followers. The problem with it is that it is going to create conflict within the government and the whole country,” Attorney Hlaele said.
But Justice Chinhengo asked if there was still reason to consolidate the cases because the first case has been finalized and the second one is yet to be heard in the High Court.

Another lawyer for Prof Mahao’s committee, Advocate Mohapi, told the court that Justice Mahase herself ruled that the case which she has not heard until now is urgent and therefore should be treated as such.
“We have accepted that the matter was urgent and it should be treated as such but it is dragging in the courts,” he said.

Itumeleng Khoete and Thooe Ramolibeli


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