Mda’s law office burnt down

Mda’s law office burnt down

MASERU – CASE files and a legal library built over decades went up in smoke when fire gutted Advocate Zwelakhe Mda (KC)’s offices in Mafeteng on Sunday night. The building, from which Mda has been practising law for the past 35 years, was completely destroyed.
Police spokesperson Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said they are still investigating and no arrest has been made.
All in all more 7 000 files, law books and records put together over 40 years were lost.

Some of the cases and books in the library belonged to Mda’s late father who was also a lawyer.
Mda told thepost that on Sunday night he woke up to shouting and screaming from a group of people outside his house.
“They were saying: Its burning! Your office is burning! It’s burning!”

He rushed to his office to find it engulfed in an inferno. Desperate efforts to put out the fire came to naught.
“The intensity of that fire showed that it was not accidental. All the four rooms were burning,” Mda said.
He said if the fire had been accidental it would have been confined to one room for some time.

Police officers who attended the scene found a tin of inflammable liquid in the smoldering rubble, he said.
“It’s not clear what it was but it says something about ‘35 minutes waiting period’.”
“The police suspect that someone entered through the back window and got out through the front window.”
He said it was “clear that this was an act of arson”.

Mda did not own the building but has been renting it for the past 35 years.  It is here that he started his legal career that soon blossomed until he was appointed King’s Counsel. Mda said one man who lives near the law firm told him that he heard “a loud blast before the fire started”.
“Every file of every case I have handled as a lawyer is gone. The same applies to the cases left by my father. I will have to start afresh.”

“With the enormity of that damage I have just told myself that it’s important that I am still alive. There is nothing that can be done about the damage because it’s clear that there is nothing that can be recovered.” Mda said he is yet to put a monetary value to what he lost in the fire. This includes the computers, furniture and other things. His was arguably the biggest law firm in Mafeteng, a district with one of the highest crime rates in the country.

Staff Reporter

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