Judge died of Covid-19

Judge died of Covid-19

MASERU-HIGH Court Registrar Advocate ’Mathato Sekoai says Justice Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane, who died last week, was Covid-19 positive.
Advocate Sekoai told thepost that Justice Chaka-Makhooane’s family had requested that her remains be tested after she died last Tuesday at Maseru Private Hospital.

The judge had been admitted at the hospital after complaining of flu.
Advocate Sekoai also confirmed that an officer at the Commercial Court had also tested positive for Covid-19 positive.

The news of the judge’s death and the second confirmed case of the disease is said to have triggered panic at the courts. Some officials have accused the High Court management of hiding information about the judge’s illness.
They point to the fact that the court premises were fumigated a day after the judge had died. This, the officials said, indicated that the management knew that the judge had Covid-19.

But Advocate Sekoai said the allegations are false because the fumigation had been scheduled before the tragedy.
Advocate Sekoai explained they were not aware that Justice Chaka-Makhooane had died of Covid-19 until early this week.
She explained after the results came they issued a statement calling on all those who had come into contact with her to be tested.

“This is a very dangerous disease. How can we put our lives at risk by hiding such a thing?” Sekoai said.
Justice Chaka-Makhooane will be laid to rest on Friday.
A court official told thepost that what worries him is that the management appeared to have withheld information about the judge’s illness.
He said it also appeared that the management had not reacted swiftly when the judge complained of flu.

He said a few days before her death Justice Chaka-Makhooane was in a meeting with some of the judges and some staff members.
The source said there were times when the judge held cases in her chambers.

“Our only worry is how soon they are going to do the contract tracing as the deceased contacted many people who also contacted others,” the source said.
A lawyer who requested anonymity said he feared that “many lawyers who appeared before ’Mè Makhooane are at risk”.
“I heard that she placed herself on self-quarantine so I don’t know for how long,” the lawyer said.

“So my fear is we are still meeting with a lot of lawyers who may at other times have been in a meeting with her.”
Meanwhile, all court premises are being disinfected.
Lesotho has 311 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Six people have died and 21 have recovered.

Itumeleng Khoete

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