Verdict reserved in Nkoya application
FORMER Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s estranged daughter, Advocate ‘Mabatšoeneng Hlaele, will have to wait until Monday to learn the outcome of her application for an interim interdict to stop her father and his wife, ‘Maesaiah, from selling any of the land Mr Thabane acquired together with his slain ex-wife, Lipolelo.
High Court Judge Keketso Moahloli heard arguments from all litigants on Monday and reserved judgement to 13 July 2020.
The hearing was held at Justice Moahloli’s home because the High Court is on a winter break from 15 June to 3 August 2020.
Adv Hlaele (nee Nkoya Thabane) and Attorney Kuili Ndebele are the applicants in the matter. They are represented by Mr Monaheng Rasekoai.
‘Maesaiah, Mr Thabane, the Master of High Court, the Attorney General (Haae Phoofolo), Toka Thabane, Potlako Thabane, Pulane Borotho (nee Thabane), the Land Administration Authority (LAA) and the Minister of Social Development ‘Matebatso Doti are the first to ninth respondents respectively. They are represented by Adv Salemane Phafane.
Only the litigants’ lawyers attended the hearing and argued the matter at Justice Moahloli’s home.
Mr Rasekoai later told the Lesotho Times that Justice Moahloli had reserved judgement on the interim reliefs to 13 July 2020.
“We argued the interim prayers on Monday at Justice Moahloli’s home and the learned judge has reserved judgement to next Monday,” Mr Rasekoai said. After delivering the judgement, Justice Moahloli will set a date for hearing the main case to bar Mr Thabane and ‘Maesaiah from benefiting from Lipolelo’s estate.
Mr Thabane and ‘Maesaiah stand accused of murdering Lipolelo on 14 June 2017. At the time of her assassination, Mr Thabane and Lipolelo were estranged from each other and their divorce had not been finalised. Mr Thabane married ‘Maesaiah just two months after Lipolelo’s murder.
In her court application filed last week, Nkoya claims that after Lipolelo’s murder, Mr Thabane and ‘Maesaiah took over Lipolelo and Mr Thabane’s joint estate. She alleges that they are selling off some of the properties thereby prejudicing Lipolelo and Mr Thabane’s adopted children, Regina Retšelisitsoe Thabane and Kekeletso Joseph Thabane.
Nkoya says she is the legal guardian of Regina, a minor aged 17 but just a month shy of attaining the legal age of majority. Kekeletso is 32 but is said to suffer from autism which affects him mentally.
Nkoya wants the High Court to issue an interim order interdicting ‘Maesaiah and Mr Thabane from “transferring and or transacting over any sale of land rights and interest in respect of immovable properties registered in their (Lipolelo and Mr Thabane’s) names with the LAA pending finalisation of this matter”.
She wants the LAA to be ordered to provide all the records of the land registered in the names of ‘Maesaiah and Mr Thabane pending the finalisation of the main case.
She also wants the court to order the Minister of Social Development, ‘Matebatso Doti, to order social workers to assess Regina Thabane and present a report within 14 days of the order. She wants the court to grant her interim custody of Regina pending finalisation of her application.
In terms of the final relief, she wants an order declaring that “all properties (movable and or immovable) registered in the names of ‘Maesaiah Thabane and Thomas Motsoahae Thabane and which were acquired and or allocated prior to their marriage do not form part of their joint estate but that of Thomas Motsoahae Thabane and the late Lipolelo Thabane”.
She also wants the court to compel Mr Thabane to forfeit a quarter of Lipolelo’s estate to Regina and Kekeletso.
She wants to be awarded custody over Regina “and or any alternative remedy or remedies be made by this court in respect of what is in the best interests of Regina”.