Former consul takes govt to court
FORMER consular at the Embassy of Kuwait, Sekake Mohale (pictured), has lodged an urgent High Court application seeking to stop Foreign Affairs Minister Tlohang Sekhamane from excluding him when appointing counsellors or diplomats.
Alternatively, Mr Mohale seeks the suspension of his 17 May 2016 letter of recall pending the determination of the main application.
He also seeks an order for the respondents -- who include Mr Sekhamane, his principal secretary, the ministry and Attorney-general Tšokolo Makhethe – to pay him the balance of his 36-month employment contract prior to his recall.
Mr Mohale lodged the application on Monday this week, with Justice Semapo Peete ordering the respondents to file their answering affidavits by 27 April this year.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Mohale says on 10 April 2016 he was assigned to go to the Senegalese embassy in Kuwait along with Thuso Kemane who was a third secretary at the Lesotho mission.
The assignment, he says, was to collect alcoholic beverages for embassy officials with two vehicles.
The duo delivered the drinks to embassy officials and Mr Mohale says he later left the Lesotho embassy to buy food with Mr Kemane in his car which carried the latter’s share of the alcoholic beverages.
He says they were stopped at a police checkpoint, with the law enforcement officers demanding their identification documents. The cops discovered the alcohol in the car and ordered Mr Kemane to park his vehicle on the side of the road.
Mr Mohale says an altercation ensued with the police who accused them of illegal possession of alcohol. Consumption of alcohol is illegal in Kuwait.
Despite his protestations that they were allowed to possess alcohol since they were embassy staff, Mr Mohale says they were detained at a police station for some hours before the issue was eventually resolved.
Mr Mohale says he received a letter of “either recall or termination” from Mr Sekhamane.
He argues that the minister’s “desired end” was “arbitrarily termi- nating my contract without a legal basis”.
Mr Mohale further states that he eventually entered into negotiations with the ministry following his recall. Among the issues agreed, he says, was for him to be reassigned for another tour of duty in the same capacity.
“Based on these negotiations, I have been relaxed over a year hoping that there would be progress in this regard...if this honorable court does not intervene in these proceedings, I shall suffer irreparable harm because the case shall be rendered moot and academic by the appointment of any other diplomats in the capacity of counsellor in my exclusion of consideration despite the commitments by the respondents herein,” he adds.