Metsing in the dock
. . . as third SA judge takes oath today to preside over deputy premier’s legal battle with DCEO
SOUTH Africa’s Justice George Maluleke is expected to be sworn in today as Acting Judge of the Lesotho High Court and preside over a case in which Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing wants the Constitutional Court to declare the acquisition of his banking details by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) unconstitutional.
Justice Maluleke would be one of three South African judges set to decide Mr Metsing’s fate, with Justices John ‘Musi from Bloemfontein and Sulet Potterill from Pretoria, completing the three-member panel.
High Court Assistant Registrar, Staford Sharite, on Tuesday confirmed the developments, adding Justice Maluleke’s appointment was recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) last month.
“The Chief Justice (Nthomeng Majara) will swear-in Justice George Maluleke from Johannesburg, South Africa, as Acting Judge of the High Court to preside over Mr Metsing’s case,” Mr Sharite said.
“The swearing-in ceremony takes place on Thursday morning (today), and soon after, Justice Maluleke would join two other South African judges presiding over the case.”
Mr Metsing, who is contesting the acquisition of the banking details by the DCEO as part of the organisation’s investigations into his alleged involvement in corrupt activities, has requested a foreign panel of judges to preside over his case to eliminate any possible bias against him.
The Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader has since requested two local judges, Justices Majara and Tšeliso Monaphathi, to recuse themselves from the case, hence Justice Maluleke’s appointment.
In his urgent application filed before the Constitutional Court on 11 August 2014, Mr Metsing argued the acquisition of the information from Standard Lesotho Bank and Nedbank early last year without his consent or being consulted, was a violation of his constitutional rights.
In an effort to strengthen his case against the DCEO, Mr Metsing submitted an affidavit before the Constitutional Court in November last year, in which he alleged his coalition government partners — Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Sports Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane — were behind the in-