Court of­fi­cial back at work af­ter four-year sus­pen­sion

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A High Court of­fi­cial who was sus­pended on full pay four years ago re­sumed work this work.

tha­bang mo­hafa found him­self in hot wa­ter when he ques­tioned the suit­abil­ity of Aus­tralian judge, Jus­tice John Lyons, to head the Com­mer­cial Divi­sion of the High Court.

mr mo­hafa wrote a let­ter to the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) in Jan­uary 2012, in which he said Jus­tice Lyons had a con­tro­ver­sial stint in the Ba­hamas be­fore he came to Le­sotho in 2010, hence he was not suit­able for the job.

in the let­ter, mr mo­hafa quoted news­pa­per ar­ti­cles from the Ba­hamas, which claimed Jus­tice Lyons em­ployed an ac­coun­tant who was brother to a woman he had dated.

the news­pa­per ar­ti­cle said the ac­coun­tant had been ap­pointed to help in a case in which two brothers were fight­ing over share­hold­ing.

the story also al­leged the woman Jus­tice Lyons had dated also worked for her brother on the case.

in Fe­bru­ary 2012, the JSC wrote to mr mo­hafa, who was a judge’s clerk at the time, ask­ing him to “show cause” why he should not face dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for al­legedly tar­nish­ing Jus­tice Lyons’ im­age.

“Upon or about the 9th Jan­uary 2012, you wrote a mem­o­ran­dum ad­dressed to the sec­re­tary of the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion pur­port­ing to ad­vise the Honourable Chief Jus­tice and the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion on the sta­tus of Jus­tice John Lyons.

“the mem­o­ran­dum in ques­tion was later pub­lished in the Le­sotho Times news­pa­per dated 12 march 2012, a lo­cal news­pa­per whose read­er­ship is very wide both lo­cally and out­side the coun­try.

“the said pub­li­ca­tion has se­ri­ously tar­nished the rep­u­ta­tion of Jus­tice Lyons as a Com­mon­wealth ex­pert sent to as­sist the ju­di­ciary of Le­sotho with the man­age­ment of the Com­mer­cial Court,” read part of the ‘show cause’ let­ter.

How­ever, the JSC re­called mr mo­hafa this

week af­ter he al­legedly apol­o­gized for the let­ter.

“At its 105th meet­ing held on the 18th Fe­bru­ary 2016, the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) ac­cepted a re­quest by the Head of Depart­ment to re­call you from sus­pen­sion fol­low­ing its ac­cep­tance of your un­con­di­tional apol­ogy for the in­dis­cre­tions you com­mit­ted in the past.

“the com­mis­sion has how­ever, di­rected the Head of Depart­ment to warn you to gen­uinely de­sist from en­gag­ing in sim­i­lar acts of in­sub­or­di­na­tion which led to your sus­pen­sion.

“You are there­fore re­called from the said sus­pen­sion ef­fec­tively from 21st march, 2016, so that you can dis­charge your du­ties as a Judge’s Clerk.

“You will be placed in the Com­mer­cial divi­sion of the High Court to fill up the gap cre­ated by the res­ig­na­tion of a Judge’s Clerk who was at­tached to the Com­mer­cial Court.”

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