Court upholds Khasu suspension

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ABC Deputy Leader Tlali Khasu
ABC Deputy Leader Tlali Khasu

Tefo Tefo

DEPUTY Leader of the main opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC) Tlali Khasu yesterday lost his court bid to have his suspension from the ABC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) nullified.

The ABC leader Dr Thomas Thabane wrote the letter on 17 September suspending Mr Khasu from the NEC for 90 days for allegedly castigating Dr Thabane on a local radio station.

Dr Thabane’s letter was endorsed by the NEC on 18 September.

According to papers filed in court Mr Khasu’s suspension was communicated to him on 18 September 2016, immediately after the committee endorsed Dr Thabane’s letter.

The papers stipulate that Mr Khasu was told to wait outside the meeting hall when the committee deliberated on the letter and was only called in after the committee had endorsed the letter. The letter was then given to him.

Court papers also state that he was asked to comment on the letter but he only said the majority of Basotho expected the party to remain united after the meeting so that they could be ready to take over the government which appeared shaky.

Mr Khasu then filed an urgent application on 23 September asking the court to grant him an order reviewing and setting aside his suspension on the grounds of irregularities.

He complained that he was not heard before the decision to suspend him was reached.

But the High Court judge Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi yesterday dismissed his application on the grounds that he was given a hearing, although it was after the decision was made.

The judge said the main issue to be decided was whether Dr Thabane and the executive committee acted according to the party’s constitution and he said there was consistency between the constitution and what Dr Thabane and the committee did.

He said the party’s constitution provides that the leader of the party is vested with powers to suspend any member of the executive committee for misconduct or misbehaviour.

He further said the same constitution provides that the leader should present his decision before the executive committee for either approval or disapproval.

“The actions of the President and the committee are consistent with the constitution.

“And in the legal sense it cannot be said that there was unfairness for him (Mr Khasu),” he said.

The judge dismissed Mr Khasu’s application but did not award costs of suit against him.

“I looked at all the circumstances of this case. Although this application has to fail I do not award costs to either applicant or the respondents,” he ruled.

The respondents were Dr Thabane, ABC’s NEC and ABC as the party.

Justice Monaphathi said he made the decision after Mr Khasu had failed to prove before court that there was an irregularity in suspending him.

He said: “The irregularity that is contained in one of the prayers was not proved.”

Among other things, Mr Khasu had asked the court to set aside his suspension pending finalisation of the case he filed in court.

But Justice Monaphathi refused the interim order on the grounds that the courts of law could not grant interim orders that have characteristics of final orders.

Mr Khasu was also seeking an order that Dr Thabane’s act of suspending him be “declared null and void ab initio (from the beginning)”.

Alternatively he was seeking for Dr Thabane’s act of suspending him to be “reviewed, corrected and set aside on grounds of irregularity”.

Mr Khasu also complained he was suspended without being afforded a hearing.

He was represented by Advocate Letuka Molati, while Dr Thabane, ABC’s NEC and ABC were represented by Advocate Ranale Thoahlane.

 

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