Magistrates on go-slow

Magistrates on go-slow

MASERU – MAGISTRATES have this week this week put breaks on court proceedings as a way to pressure the government to address their grievances.
Although the “go slow” was not publicly declared it was clear that the magistrates were not working as normal.

From Monday to yesterday only a few suspects were remanded in the Maseru magistrates’ courts as magistrates barely heard cases.
Chief Magistrate ’Matankiso Nthunya said although she could not speak on the magistrates’ behalf because she is in management there were indications that there was a “go slow of sorts”.
thepost understands most of the criminal cases did not proceed this week.

Nthunya said the magistrates gave their grievances to the former Minister of Law in the previous regime but nothing has changed.
“They even took the matter to the Prime Minister so he could hear their grievances but still they could not get help,” Nthunya said.
She said apart from earning meager salaries the magistrates have to grapple with a heavy work load under punishing work conditions.

She said the magistrates have got just two cars that serve the whole country. The 101 subordinate courts use the same vehicles.
Nthunya said some local courts are in hard-to-reach areas.

However, the president of the Judicial Officers Association of Lesotho (JOALE) Peete Molapo has flatly denied that they are on a go slow.
He told thepost last night that they were going to issue a press statement yesterday to announce their position.
The Minister of Justice Mokhele Moletsane last night confirmed that he had a meeting with JOALE representatives on Tuesday.

He said the grievances aired by the JOALE “are loud and clear”.
Moletsane said although the magistrates are not on strike “it could easily be seen that there is something amiss unfolding in the courts”.

Majara Molupe

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