Ramodibedi dies

Ramodibedi dies

MASERU – JUSTICE Michael Mathealira Ramodibedi has died. He was 74.
He died yesterday after a long battle with a terminal illness.
The Ramodibedi family confirmed the news last night but said it was not yet ready to give further details.
The President of the Law Society of Lesotho, Advocate Tekane Maqaqachane, said although they are yet to receive official notification they were made aware of the sad news.
“We have already received that information but we have not been officially informed by the family,” Advocate Maqaqachane said.
Several lawyers and judges said they had also received the news.
Justice Ramodibedi had an illustrious legal career that spanned over more than three decades.

A graduate of the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, he started practising as a lawyer in 1974. He joined the High Court bench in 1986.
In 2000 he was appointed acting judge of the Court of Appeal of Lesotho.
He was confirmed as a full member of the bench in 2002 before he became the court’s president.
A man of irrepressible energy and ambition, Justice Ramodibedi was one of the few judges who could juggle roles in different jurisdictions. In 2004, while still on the local apex court, he was appointed president of the Court of Appeal of Seychelles.

In March 2006 he resigned from that position after the Seychelles government raised concerns that he was holding other positions in Lesotho and Botswana when the court needed the full attention of its president.
In January of the same year he joined Botswana’s Court of Appeal.
Late in the same year he became an acting judge in Swaziland’s Court of Appeal and four years later he was appointed acting Chief Justice, a position he held until June 2015 when King Mswati III fired him for alleged misconduct.

Back home his star had begun to dim in 2013 when Prime Minister Thomas Thabane suspended him to make way for his impeachment.
He was accused of claiming allowances he didn’t deserve and using false information to file insurance claim for his official vehicle.
It was alleged that the car was being driven by his son when it was involved in an accident but the judge claimed that his driver was behind the wheel.
Justice Ramodibedi strenuously fought the impeachment proceedings, arguing that Thabane had violated procedure and was also using trumped up charges to push him out.
When he failed to block the tribunal through the courts Justice Ramodibedi threw in the towel and resigned as Court of Appeal president in April 2014.

Staff Reporter


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