The Appeal court saga continues
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