Reprieve for opposition MPS
LAWYERS representing the Speaker of the National Assembly Ntlhoi Motsamai and the Attorney General King’s Counsel Tšokolo Makhethe have made an undertaking before the High Court Judge Justice Molefi Makara to suspend acting on the ‘show cause’ letters written to some Members of Parliament (MPS) last week.
The tripartite opposition bloc consisting of All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) on 9 November 2016 filed an application in the High Court challenging the anticipated expulsion of some of their MPS for alleged absenteeism in the National Assembly.
The Speaker and the Attorney General are cited as the first and second respondents respectively.
Last Friday, Ms Motsamai wrote letters to 13 opposition MPS requesting them to show cause why she should not expel them from the National Assembly for alleged absenteeism without her permission. But on Monday the lawyers representing the respondents made an undertaking before Justice Makara that the Speaker would not act on the letters until the application has been finalised. The High Court Assistant Registrar Stafford Sharite yesterday confirmed the developments to the Lesotho Times.
“The respondents’ lawyers have made an undertaking that the respondents would not act on the letters until the matter has been disposed of,” Advocate Sharite said.
But he said the date of hearing would be set after all the papers had been filed in court.
The MPS that face expulsion include the exiled opposition bloc leaders, former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, Thesele ‘Maseribane and Keketso Rantšo of the ABC, BNP and RCL respectively.
The trio sought refuge in South Africa on 11, 13 and 26 May 2015 respectively, allegedly after being alerted of a plot to kill them by Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members — an accusation the army and government have vehemently denied.
Other MPS facing expulsion include the BNP’S Joang Molapo and Dr Nthabiseng Makoae and the ABC’S Samonyane Ntsekele, Leshoboro Mohlajoa, Tšoeu Molise, Majoro Mohapi, Chalane Phori, Mokherane Tsatsanyane, Motlohi Maliehe and Prince Maliehe.
In her letters to the MPS, Ms Motsamai gave them until tomorrow to motivate why they should not be expelled for allegedly being absent during a third of the total sessions of the house in a year without her permission. The three parties are represented by Attorney Tumisang Mosotho and the respondents are represented by lawyers from Webber Newdigate.