Fired NSS agents win case

Fired NSS agents win case

MASERU – High Court judge, Justice Semapo Peete, on Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of 76 National Security Service (NSS) agents who were dismissed from work in December 2017.
The judge said the fired agents “should go back to work”.
However, the agents’ lawyer, Advocate Motiea Teele KC, told thepost this week that there is no need to celebrate yet because the “Third Lady” – the Court of Appeal – was still to speak on the issue.

Advocate Teele said there was still a possibility that NSS Director General Pheello Ralenkoane could appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The agents were fired in December 2017 with Ralenkoane arguing they were not qualified to serve as NSS agents as they had been trained by the military intelligence.
He said the agents were therefore posed a security risk to the institution.
The letter read in part: “In terms of Section 11(3) of NSS No. 30 of 1998 the Director General has obtained information that you are a security risk, and you may act in a way prejudicial to the security of the state.”“Your Basic Intelligence Training was conducted by Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) as opposed to NSS, thereby exposing (you) to methods and principles contrary to NSS.”
“The matter by itself compromises or threatens the operational methods and principles of the NSS,” the letter said.
These agents were recruited under former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s coalition government.

At that time the Director-General was Lieutenant Colonel Tumo Lekhooa, who had served as the LDF Military Intelligence director before he was seconded to the NSS by Mosisili.
The opposition criticized Lieutenant Colonel Lekhooa’s appointment arguing the move was an attempt by the government to militarise the NSS.
Ralenkoane argued that the NSS wanted applicants to be between the ages of 18 and 25 with Form E qualifications, “but surprisingly some of them are over 37 years old and have extra qualifications like Masters (degrees) which exceeded our budget”.

Itumeleng Khoete

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