Hefty pay­out for Ramod­ibedi

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

Gov­ern­ment has or­dered a hef hefty pay­out for former Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­den Pres­i­dent michael ramod­ibedi, the Le­sotho Times can re­veal.

Ac­cord­ing to ju­di­cial sources, th the amount “ranges be­tween m700 000 and m800m 000” and re­lates to the pe­riod the judg judge was on sus­pen­sion for al­leged cor­rup­tion, f from Septem­ber 2013 un­til his res­ig­na­tion in April 2014. High Court and Court of Ap Ap­peal reg­is­trar, Le­sitsi mokeke, y yes­ter­day con­firmed the pay­out but w would not re­veal the amount or whywh Jus­tice ramod­ibedi was be­ing paid the money.

“I can ac­knowl­edge re­ceip­trec of a let­ter from Jus­tice ra ramod­ibedi (re­gard­ing the pay­ment pay­ment). We are now work­ing on the let­ter­lett with a view to fa­cil­i­tate payme pay­ment.

“this is af­ter some con­sul­ta­tion with the of­fice in in­volved in giv­ing le­gal ad­vice t to all gov­ern­ment de­part­men de­part­ments, which is the of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral,” Ad­vo­cate mokeke said.

Asked what legal­leg ad­vice his of­fice had of­fered to fa­cil­i­tate the pay­ment, At­tor­ney Gen­eral tšokolo m makhethe yes­ter­day told the Le­sotho Times: “this is a mat­ter re­lat­ing to the High Court, so ask them be­cause I am in the ex­ec­u­tive and they are the ju­di­ciary.”

Jus­tice ramod­ibedi, who was also Swazi­land’s Chief Jus­tice from 2010 un­til his re­moval this year for al­leged abuse of of­fice, re­fused to com­ment on the mat­ter yes­ter­day when con­tacted by the Le­sotho Times, point­ing out do­ing so “might jeop­ar­dise some other pro­cesses”.

Jus­tice ramod­ibedi was, among other is­sues, sus­pended for al­legedly in­struct­ing his chauf­fer to sub­mit a false in­sur­ance re­port af­ter his of­fi­cial ve­hi­cle had been in­volved in an ac­ci­dent.

the chauf­fer al­legedly sub­se­quently in­di­cated he had been be­hind the wheel when the car crashed and not the judge’s son as was later claimed by gov­ern­ment. As a re­sult of the al­leged mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion, the in­sur­ance com­pany and gov­ern­ment paid Jus­tice ramod­ibedi m123 502 and m18 789, re­spec­tively.

How­ever, the judge chal­lenged his sus­pen­sion in the courts but af­ter los­ing the case, de­cided to re­sign, end­ing his pres­i­dency which had be­gun in July 2008.

How­ever, the judge yes­ter­day sought to “set the record straight” re­gard­ing the car crash, in­sist­ing his son was not re­spon­si­ble for the ac­ci­dent.

“It was a lie; a trick used by the former regime (led by then prime min­is­ter thomas Tha­bane) to re­move me from of­fice on po­lit­i­cal grounds so that they could ap­point their own peo­ple. that is why they even bought a false story that I was ac­cused of sex­ual ha­rass­ment in Swazi­land.”

mean­while, Jus­tice ramod­ibedi yes­ter­day dis­missed claims that he had “locked him­self” in his Lady­brand home to avoid be­ing served with court pa­pers re­lat­ing to a m150 000 loan he took from First na­tional Bank (Fnb)-swazi­land.

Jus­tice ramod­ibedi said the claim was “a con­tin­u­a­tion of a smear cam­paign” by his Swazi de­trac­tors.

A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing FNB in Swazi­land, mx­olisi Dlamini from robin­son Ber­tram (rb) law firm, had told the Le­sotho Times yes­ter­day: “We are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to serve Jus­tice ramod­ibedi with sum­mons con­cern­ing the e150 000 (m150 000) he owes FNB. We in­structed some lawyers in South Africa to serve him with the court pa­pers but they told us he was not be­ing co­op­er­a­tive.

“We are now con­sid­er­ing serv­ing him the sum­mons through a news­pa­per in South Africa be­cause he has been un­co­op­er­a­tive.”

At­tor­ney Dlamini could not say what he meant by “un­co­op­er­a­tive” al­though Swazi me­dia re­porters in­di­cated the judge had “locked him­self in his house once again” to evade the law.

this was in ref­er­ence to Jus­tice ramod­ibedi’s de­ci­sion to bar­ri­cade him­self for two months in his mba­bane home early this year when the po­lice and mem­bers of the Anti-cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion had come to ar­rest him for al­leged abuse of of­fice.

the then Chief Jus­tice only came out of his home af­ter be­ing as­sured of im­mu­nity in the wake of the Le­sotho gov­ern­ment’s me­di­a­tion.

But Jus­tice ramod­ibedi yes­ter­day dis­missed the lat­est al­le­ga­tions, adding this was yet an­other cam­paign to tar­nish his good im­age.

“It is not true!” Jus­tice ramod­ibedi said. “no one has ever come to my res­i­dence to serve any pa­pers on me. they don’t even know where I stay; I don’t even have a rea­son to hide. In fact, my res­i­dence is a se­cu­rity se­cret.

“Again, if there was such a case, the bank lawyers could have ap­proached my Swazi lawyer, and they know him very well.

“I con­tacted him af­ter hear­ing th­ese al­le­ga­tions and he told me no sum­mons were served in this re­gard.”

Jus­tice ramod­ibedi said he was not sur­prised about the al­le­ga­tions against him, re­gard­ing the FNB loan.

“I am not sur­prised that they said they came to my home; they were the same peo­ple prose­cut­ing my im­peach­ment in Swazi­land,” he said.

Sit­ting pretty... Jus­tice Michael ramod­ibedi.

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