Blow for PM as Phoofolo wins case

Blow for PM as Phoofolo wins case

MASERU-THE High Court has ordered Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to reinstate Advocate Haae Phoofolo KC to his position of Attorney General.
The decision is a major victory for Advocate Phoofolo who had resisted through the courts attempts by the Prime Minister to send him on forced leave pending expiry of his contract next February.

Advocate Phoofolo, through his lawyer Advocate Letuka Molati, dragged the Prime Minister to court arguing that some constitutional provisions had been flouted when he was forced to go on leave.
Advocate Letuka Molati argued that Dr Majoro had not complied with the provisions of Section 140 of Lesotho’s constitution when he placed him on terminal leave.

The respondents in this case were Prime Minister Majoro, King Letsie III and the Acting Attorney General Advocate Tsebang Putsoane.
Advocate Putsoane is the Deputy Attorney General.
This week, Justice Molefi Makara reviewed, corrected and set aside Dr Majoro’s decision to send Advocate Phoofolo on forced leave pending the expiry of his contract.

The judge has also corrected and set aside Dr Majoro’s act to advise King Letsie III to appoint Advocate Putsone as the Acting Attorney General.
The court said the Gazette Legal Notice No 94/2020 Acting Appointment to the Office of the Attorney General was unconstitutional in the circumstances.

The government is to pay costs of the lawsuit.
All this happened after Dr Majoro ordered Advocate Phoofolo to go on “terminal leave” pending the expiry of his contract in February 2021.
The leave was with effect from Monday 14 September 2020.

Dr Majoro said it was necessary for Advocate Phoofolo to go on terminal leave ahead of his departure to facilitate the search for his successor.
But Advocate Phoofolo argued that “the Prime Minister has no power to suspend or place me on terminal leave”.
He argued that the premier could only advise the King to appoint someone as substantive or acting Attorney General.

Staff Reporter

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