The Ap­peal court saga con­tin­ues

Lesotho Times - - Leader - Thulo Hoeane

Just when we thought things might nor­malise and the Court of Ap­peal can func­tion again af­ter more than a year of dis­heart­en­ing paral­y­sis we are back to ground zero cour­tesy of an­other court bid to block the ap­point­ment of Jus­tice ‘Mase­shophe Hla­joane to head the apex court. I have no truck with those who have launched the lat­est ap­pli­ca­tion to en­sure that court re­mains in limbo. It is their pre­rog­a­tive to do so.

My only in­ter­est is that as all these shenani­gans un­fold be­fore our eyes it is the or­di­nary man and woman on the street who is the vic­tim of all this.

the wheels of jus­tice have ground to a halt in this coun­try. Not so long ago we saw how some among us fought tooth and nail to en­sure that Pro­fes­sor Mos­ito never gets ap­pointed as pres­i­dent of the Court Of Ap­peal. that was a bit­ter and bruis­ing bat­tle that ended af­ter a lot of ac­ri­mony. It was thus with a sense of re­lief that we saw that episode come to an end.

But for some of us that was only the begin­ning. No sooner had that sad chap­ter in our his­tory been closed and we now see yet an­other at­tempt to shoot down the ap­point­ment of a long serv­ing judge of the High Court who has demon­stra­bly shown her im­pec­ca­bil­ity and who has con­ducted her­self in man­ner that many of her col­leagues can only be proud of.

the cre­den­tials of Jus­tice Hla­joane are be­yond re­proach and in­ter­est­ingly and rightly so this is not an is­sue that the lat­est court bid even dares to raise. the lat­est at­tempt at en­sur­ing the Court of Ap­peal re­mains for­ever dys­func­tional raises an is­sue that the per­son on whose be­half it is be­ing launched has no in­ter­est in.

the gen­tle­men be­hind this lat­est court ac­tion — the same peo­ple who were be­hind the Mos­ito af­fair — main­tain this time around that Jus­tice Hla­joane is be­ing im­posed on an in­cum­bent in the per­son of Jus­tice Yvonne Mok­goro of South Africa who de­clined to take the job some two weeks be­fore the ap­point­ment of Jus­tice Hla­joane cit­ing pro­fes­sional com­mit­ments in South Africa.

In a nut­shell it all boils down to this. Jus­tice Mok­goro has no in­ter­est in the mat­ter and can­not have an in­ter­est in it be­cause she has re­signed. Any­body who there­fore pushes an agenda on her be­half is way off the rails on this score alone.

Any court bid against the ap­point­ment of Jus­tice Hla­joane is be­yond doubt a fu­tile ex- er­cise with hor­ren­dous con­se­quences for the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice in this coun­try. I have al­ready said that the con­tin­ued paral­y­sis of the Ap­peal Court has had dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice in this coun­try and that goes with­out too much em­pha­sis be­cause it is ob­vi­ous enough.

there are many cases pil­ing up in the Court of Ap­peal which will not be heard any­time soon. Should the cur­rent court bid by these gen­tle­men be thrown out of court they are more likely than not to em­bark on an ap­peal process that will take time to com­plete.

In any event with­out an ap­peal court they will not have a court to ap­peal to. this will put in mo­tion a process to as­sem­ble an ap­peal court on a tem­po­rary ba­sis. Need­less to say the fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions will also be huge for a coun­try such as ours.

In the in­terim we will be liv­ing in a kan­ga­roo coun­try in which might well be right be­cause if the or­di­nary peo­ple can­not have re­course to the courts the only op­tion they will have is to take the law into their own hands. And who can blame them when the courts have been ren­dered dys­func­tional and im­po­tent in the face of one court chal­lenge af­ter an­other with prob­a­bly no end in sight.

For those of us on the side­lines as this drama un­folds we only have a few words of warn­ing for the gov­ern­ment. this trend — if is left to con­tinue un­abated — will not only ren­der the courts dys­func­tional but is begin­ning to send out the wrong mes­sage to the or­di­nary Mosotho man and woman that some­body other than the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple is in charge in this coun­try.

the gov­ern­ment has to take ur­gent mea­sures to en­sure that san­ity and nor­mal­ity re­turns to the courts. We can­not bear this sit­u­a­tion any longer and enough is enough.

in a nut­shell it all boils down to this. Jus­tice Mok­goro has no in­ter­est in the mat­ter and can­not have an in­ter­est in it be­cause she has re­signed. Any­body who there­fore pushes an agenda on her be­half is way off the rails on this score alone

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.