Vanishing dockets worry Chief Magistrate

Vanishing dockets worry Chief Magistrate

MASERU – CHIEF Magistrate ’Matankiso Nthunya has expressed serious concerns over the disappearance of dockets because of the manual filing system.
In the courts, Nthunya said cases are written in long hand and passed to various stakeholders where they sometimes disappear at the end.
“Prosecutors end up saying the case files are missing and if that is the case then they cannot be recovered,” she said.

Nthunya also said the current filling system sacrifices justice in Lesotho because guilty people end up walking freely as if they did not commit any crime.
“Some suspects change names when convicted more than once because previous convictions cannot be traced,” she added.
The chief magistrate said she was happy that at last the government of Lesotho has disbursed M200 million for a new case management system.

Nthunya said if the system is implemented successfully, dockets will be saved electronically and therefore justice will not be denied.
“It will also help us to be accountable as management will be able to access progress on cases,” she said.
Nthunya said the new filling system will help courts of Lesotho as both audio and written comments will be availed for cases.

“The transfer of information will be done easily with no interruptions as no one will be able to delete anything recorded,” she said.
Bokang Nkhatho, on behalf of the project implementing team, said the system is going to enhance the work of courts as it is automated and secure.
“This system is going to help a lot as files will just be sent electronically without delivering them from office to office,” he said.

Nkhatho also said people will not be able to change names when convicted multiple times as the system will have both facial records and finger prints.
“It is going to use high level security even back up will be there so that data be recovered easily,” he added.
The Minister of Law Lebohang Hlaele said the system will help to send files from office to office without risk of disappearance.

It will also ensure justice is served to everyone. He said the system would also help the government to achieve one of its core mandates which is justice.
“We were funded with M200 million and in February we also asked for M2 million to help carry out this project successfully,” he added.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Law, Colonel Tanki Mothae, said upon completion of this project, Basotho will benefit when they seek justice.
“Even criminals will have no option to tamper with the work of the judiciary,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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