Courts of law are the peo­ple’s last defence

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

IN this edi­tion, lawyers for the 22 army of­fi­cers in­car­cer­ated at the Maseru Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity Pri­son over mutiny charges are plan­ning to file an­other court ap­pli­ca­tion for con­tempt of court against Le­sotho Defence Force (LDF) com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli.

This is de­spite the High Court rul­ing, on more than one oc­ca­sion, that the sol­diers’ con­tin­ued de­ten­tion was il­le­gal and or­der­ing their im­me­di­ate re­lease. How­ever, on both oc­ca­sions, the LDF has used tech­ni­cal­i­ties to mask their clear de­fi­ance of a court of law. This time around, the army is ar­gu­ing that the High Court rul­ing had been “over­taken by events” be­cause they had al­ready in­sti­tuted their own pro­cesses.

They may try to couch their in­so­lence in tech­ni­cal­i­ties, but it is as clear as day that the army is de­lib­er­ately de­fy­ing the courts, which are the last bas­tion of defence in a demo­cratic coun­try. If the courts of law lose their rel­e­vance, then it opens the door for an­ar­chy and may­hem to en­sue.

Ul­ti­mately, the rul­ings of the courts of law should re­main sacro­sanct and there is no in­di­vid­ual or agency with the right to say oth­er­wise.

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