White­horse makes U-turn on polls

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

The White­horse Party has made a U-turn on its court ap­pli­ca­tion to have the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tions de­ferred by three months.

The party ap­proached the Con­sti­tu­tional Court last month seek­ing the post­pone­ment of the polls to 30 May to en­able its lead­ers to go through the vot­ers’ roll.

The In­de­pen­dent elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC), Direc­tor of elec­tions, Min­is­ter of Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs, At­tor­ney Gen­eral and 22 po­lit­i­cal par­ties reg­is­tered for the elec­tions, were cited as re­spon­dents in the case.

how­ever, the party, led by busi­ness­man Mohau ‘ White­horse’ Thakaso, now wants to with­draw the case “in the in­ter­est of the pub­lic”, but the re­spon­dents want it to­tally dis­missed to en­sure it would not be re­sus­ci­tated at a later stage.

Chief Jus­tice Nthomeng Ma­jara, Jus­tices Tšeliso Mon­aphathi and Semapo Peete are ex­pected to make a rul­ing on the case to­mor­row.

One of the re­spon­dents’ lawyers, King’s Coun­sel Sale­mane Phafane, on Tues­day told the Le­sotho Times: “The ap­pli­cant wants to with­draw the case, but we are say­ing it should be dis­missed be­cause that would mean there is fi­nal­ity. There is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween the two and this should be made very clear.

“The other rea­son why we also want a to­tal dis­missal is be­cause the ap­pli­cant has made some se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions that if the case is not dis­missed, these claims will re­main hang­ing.

“The ap­pli­cant claims there is al­ready a win­ner and go­ing for the elec­tions is just try­ing to le­git­imise the sit­u­a­tion. Be­cause of this very se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tion, there is need for the court to dis­miss the case.”

Mean­while, in the ap­pli­ca­tion filed on 28 Jan­uary, the party also wanted the IEC to ex­plain why it was “re­fus­ing, ne­glect­ing or fail­ing” to pro­vide it with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the vot­ers’ roll.

The party also sought to have the theft of IEC com­put­ers in Oc­to­ber last year, de­clared a vi­o­la­tion of its right to par­tic­i­pate in govern­ment in terms of Sec­tion 20 of the Le­sotho Con­sti­tu­tion.

The White­horse fur­ther sought an or­der com­pelling the IEC to sup­ply it with the vot­ers’ roll free of charge.

The party fur­ther re­quested the es­tab­lish­ment of a Ju­di­cial Com­mis­sion of In­quiry un­der the aus­pices of the State Coun­cil to probe the theft of the 21 IEC com­put­ers, some of which con­tained data per­tain­ing to the forth­com­ing polls.

The White­horse also wanted the court to nul­lify the lists of Pro­por­tional Rep­re­sen­ta­tion (PR) seats the IEC was given by 21 po­lit­i­cal par­ties on the grounds they were sub­mit­ted af­ter the 21 Jan­uary 2015 dead­line.

Ad­vo­cate Le­tuka Mo­lati is rep­re­sent­ing White­horse in the case, while the de­fence team com­prises King’s Coun­sel Phafane, Motiea Teele, Karabo Mohau, At­tor­ney Thulo Mahlak­eng and Ad­vo­cate Lekobane.

White­horse Party leader Mohau thakaso

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