Court rules against PSS

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

HIGH Court judge, Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi, on Tues­day ruled that the case in which prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries (PSS) are chal­leng­ing the ter­mi­na­tion of their con­tracts is not an ur­gent issue and should there­fore be dealt with in terms of the nor­mal court pro­cesses.

This fol­lowed a court ap­pli­ca­tion by 10 out­go­ing PSS, to have their case treated as ur­gent mat­ter af­ter they were sent on a 40 day leave on 24 July, 2017 pend­ing ter­mi­na­tion of the con­tracts they signed with the for­mer seven par­ties’ coali­tion gov­ern­ment that was headed by Demo­cratic Congress leader, Pakalitha Mo­sisili.

All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion party leader, Thomas Tha­bane, was sworn as Prime Min­is­ter in June in the wake of snap elec­tions in the same month af­ter his party com­bined its 48 seats with those of the Al­liance of Democrats (nine seats), Ba­sotho Congress Party (five) and the Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (one) to form a new gov­ern­ment. The PSS are the ad­min­is­tra­tive heads and chief ac­count­ing of­fi­cers of gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.

They are Le­bo­hang Moreke, Lisebo ‘Ma­pu­lumo Mo­sisili, ‘ Makho­jane Monyane, Ma­jakathata Mokoena Thakhisi, ‘Mam­pho Kotelo-‘mo­laoa, Bore­na­habokhethe Sekonyela, Makalo Theko, Mot­seki Mo­fam­mere, ‘ Mapitso Panyane and ‘Ma­paseka Kolot­sane.

They filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion last Tues­day chal­leng­ing their forced leaves pend­ing ter­mi­na­tion of their con­tracts.

They are also com­plain­ing about the amend­ment on their con­tracts in May this year by the for­mer gov­ern­ment to the ef­fect that their con­tracts would end au­to­mat­i­cally im­me­di­ately when the-then gov­ern­ment re­lin­quished power. How­ever, Jus­tice Mon­aphathi ruled that their case was not ur­gent be­cause they were aware of the con­se­quences as early as when they signed the amended con­tracts.

“What the ap­pli­cants are com­plain­ing about now is what they have known all along when the amend­ments were made,” Jus­tice Mon­aphathi said in his rul­ing.

“They were aware that this would hap­pen be­cause theirs were po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments. There is no ur­gency in this mat­ter and the ap­pli­cants must pay costs.

“There is no ur­gency be­cause they are even now on leave and their leave ex­pires more than 21 days from now,” the judge ruled on Tues­day.

The judge also said the mer­its of the case would be de­ter­mined dur­ing the hearing of the case af­ter all rel­e­vant court pa­pers had been filed by both par­ties to the dis­pute.

“The agree­ment, con­tract and the show cause are chal­lenged in this ap­pli­ca­tion.

Con­tin­ues on page 27 . . .

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