Analysts warn state over SADC inquiry
. . . say snubbing South African hearings was not a smart move
maphi. When you pit political power against legal power, political power will prevail.”
mr motsamai further said instead of preparing to reject evidence given in south Africa, government should have ensured the environment was conducive “to allow those exiles to return to Lesotho to testify”.
“the political pressure will be even stronger now because south Africa, as a country, and the SADC leadership, are very much aware Phumaphi is holding proceedings in the Free State,” Mr Motsamai said.
“Government’s best bet is to allow Phumaphi to build his report using the evidence he has gathered, then make submissions to the judge of the evidence they wish to contest. they can be given the privilege to assess evidence per witness, and contest it based on that analysis.”
mr motsamai also pointed out the Public Inquiries Act 1994 clearly states commissions of inquiry “report to the prime minister but in this case, (Pakalitha) mosisili yielded his powers to SADC by saying the commission’s report should be directed to the regional body”.
He continued: “the day Dr mosisili agreed that the Phumaphi commission would report to SADC, he yielded some of his political powers. my understanding is the commission reports to SADC.
“mosisili will only get the report as secondary information. In the end, political pressure will prevail over legal pressure.”
Dr motlamelle Kapa from the nul’s social sciences faculty, argues by inviting SADC to help resolve its challenges, Lesotho undertook to support the commission unconditionally.
Dr Kapa further adds if evidence already put before the commission is anything to go by, “then those people were justified not to want to come and testify in Lesotho”.
Government’s decision to snub the proceedings and reject the evidence, he further says, could be “a ploy to suppress evidence”.
Dr Kapa also says government is at risk of losing the argument because the commission’s strength is “more political than legal”.
“the minute government called SADC to intervene by establishing the commission, it also suspended any issues pertaining to jurisdiction. Jurisdiction shouldn’t be an issue here,” Dr Kapa added.
LCN director seabata Motsamai