Chief justice must be removed, says Law Society president

MASERU —  Law Society of Lesotho president Zwelakhe Mda says Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla should be removed for failing to manage the country’s judiciary.

Mda said the crisis at the Palace of Justice is a testimony of lack of leadership.

He was speaking to the Lesotho Times on Tuesday, a day after High Court judges started boycotting the courts.

The judges are demanding the immediate dismissal of High Court and Court of Appeal registrar ‘Mathato Sekoai.

For the past three months Justice Lehohla has come under relentless pressure from the judges to fire Sekoai.

The judges are accusing her of corruption, insubordination, incompetence and arrogance.

They have since vowed to continue their boycott until the registrar is fired.

Mda said the crisis at the High Court was an indication that the chief justice has “totally failed to manage the court”.

“We are saying the Chief Justice should be removed for failure to lead and manage the Palace of Justice,” Mda said.

He said the judges’ boycott was a blow to the delivery of justice in the country.

“I do not even know whether for purposes of fairness the lawyers who have come to court were informed that there would be no judges,” Mda said.

“I repeat that for as long as this High Court is under the present leadership it will hop from one crisis from another.”

According to the law society president, the government is aware of problems in the judiciary but it “seems reluctant to play its constitutional role of resolving them”.

“These problems have been articulated in various letters which have been circulated to the public through the media,” Mda said.

“Unfortunately the crisis had now culminated with judges not going to court and this had adversely affected both lawyers and members of the public”.

Relevant line ministries should see to it that the matter is thoroughly investigated by the police and the Directorate for Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO), Mda said.

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