Fired sol­dier fights dis­missal

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A FIRED sol­dier, Pri­vate Mo­rapeli Lebesa, is fight­ing for re­in­state­ment in the High Court and al­leg­ing his dis­missal from the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) was un­law­ful.

Pvt Lebesa filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the High Court on 5 Au­gust 2016 seek­ing an or­der set­ting aside the de­ci­sion by LDF com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli, to dis­miss him from the army.

He also wants the court to or­der Lt-gen Kamoli to re­in­state him “with­out loss of salary, re­mu­ner­a­tion and other en­ti­tle­ments or ben­e­fits which the ap­pli­cant would have re­ceived had there been no dis­charge”.

Pvt Lebesa was dis­missed from the LDF on 5 April 2016 for al­legedly as­sign­ing him­self a duty to Sec­ond Lieu­tenant Mosak­eng’s res­i­dence as an elec­tri­cian.

But he ar­gues in his af­fi­davit that dis­missal was un­fair.

Pvt Lebesa ar­gues his dis­missal was un­law­ful be­cause Lt-gen Kamoli had no au­thor­ity to dis­charge him from the LDF when the al­leged con­duct con­sti­tutes a mil­i­tary of­fence un­der the Le­sotho De­fence Force Act (1996).

“On the 1st Fe­bru­ary 2016 I was ar­rested by mem­bers of the Mil­i­tary Po­lice and de­tained at Makoanyane De­ten­tion Cen­tre. At the time of de­ten­tion I was on duty at Ratjo­mose Bar­racks.

“At the time of the ar­rest I was not given rea­sons for the ar­rest.

“It was only on the 5th Fe­bru­ary 2016 that I was charged with con­tra­ven­ing the pro­vi­sions of sec­tion 79 of the Le­sotho De­fence Force Act, 1996.

“As per charge sheet, it was al­leged that on the 1st Fe­bru­ary 2016 I went to Sec­ond Lieu­tenant Mosak­eng’s bil­let­ing and thereat fraud­u­lently in­tro­duced my­self as an elec­tri­cian from (the) En­gi­neer­ing Unit who was there for re­pair work, when in ac­tual fact I was nei­ther an elec­tri­cian nor was there a re­ported elec­tri­cal prob­lem at the bil­let­ing,” he nar­rated,

He fur­ther al­leges he was de­nied ac­cess to his med­i­ca­tion when he was de­tained at Makoanyane De­ten­tion Cen­tre.

“As a re­sult, I fell into a faint on or around the 12th March 2016 and was rushed to Makoanyane Mil­i­tary Hospi­tal.

“Whilst still re­gain­ing my con­scious­ness in hospi­tal, I was served with a let­ter from the 1st Re­spon­dent (Lt-gen Kamoli) herein invit­ing me to show cause why I may not be dis­charged from the De­fence Force pur­suant to sec­tion 31(b) of the LDF Act, 1996,” he nar­rated.

He said de­spite his re­sponse to the com­man­der try­ing to per­suade him to change his mind to dis­miss him he was dis­missed on 5 April 2016.

How­ever, the case is yet to be al­lo­cated a date of hear­ing the High Court ruled two weeks ago the ap­pli­ca­tion was not ur­gent. The rea­son for the rul­ing was that Pvt Lebesa took a lot of time be­fore fil­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion af­ter his dis­missal.

The re­spon­dents have also filed their no­tice of in­ten­tion to op­pose the case.

The Lt-gen Kamoli and At­tor­ney Gen­eral (King’s Coun­sel) Tšokolo Makhethe are cited as first and sec­ond re­spon­dents re­spec­tively

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