Judge blocks Thabane

Judge blocks Thabane

MASERU – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane was yesterday stopped in his tracks in his attempt to oust five key members from his All Basotho Convention (ABC) party.
High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, ordered that Thabane’s decision to fire the five be stayed pending the final determination of the main case in which the five are challenging their expulsion from the party.
The judge ruled that Thabane should be interdicted from taking unilateral decisions and interfering with the affairs of the party without involvement of the full contingent of the executive committee.

That decision will stand until the final determination of the main case.
The court further said Thabane should be interdicted from instructing any member of the ABC or its NEC to discharge the functions of the office held by the five applicants.

The five applicants were his deputy Professor Nqosa Mahao, chairman Sam Rapapa, secretary general Lebohang Hlaele, spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa and the deputy ’Matebatso Doti.
They were expelled from the party after Thabane said they were not listening to him when they held rallies parallel to his.
He unilaterally appointed the deputy secretary general Nkaku Kabi to run the affairs of the party until two weeks ago when he appointed a new committee.
He replaced Professor Mahao with Dr Moeketsi Majoro and Hlaele with Kemiso Mosenene.

Justice Monaphathi interdicted Dr Majoro and Mosenene, pending the outcome hereof, of holding themselves out as members of the ABC NEC and discharging any duties within the organisation as members.
Dr Moeketsi Majoro is the 4th respondent in this case while Kemiso Mosenene is the 5th respondent.

Following the expulsion of the applicants, Thabane appointed Dr Majoro as his deputy in what Thabane called a move to fill the existing gaps within the ABC executive committee.
The court issued a declaratory order declaring the decision by Thabane taken on June 17th expelling the applicants as members of the ABC as null and void.

The court said that decision has no legal force or effect.
Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi ordered that the rule as to form and notice shall be dispensed with on account on urgency.
“The said decision has no legal force or effect,” he said.
Justice Monaphathi’s ruling represents a huge blow to Thabane’s attempts to consolidate his grip on the faction-riddled party.
Thabane fired his deputy Professor Nqosa Mahao, Lebohang Hlaele, Samuel Rapapa, ‘Matebatso Doti and Montoeli Masoetsa from the party in June this year.

But they later challenged their expulsion in court.
They also applied for an interim order for counter claim.
Justice Monaphathi said Thabane and other respondents are free to withdraw the case but they have to pay costs.
“Withdrawing the case is the same as to dismiss it hence costs have to be paid,” he said.

Itumeleng Khoete


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