MASERU — The integrity of a report commissioned by the Law Society of Lesotho to investigate the state of the judiciary is in danger.
That is because the note-taking process during the commission’s hearing was inadequate.
The Lesotho Times can reveal that there are crucial aspects of the proceedings that might be missing in the report which has been stuck with the commission because some of the commissioners, who include the secretary of the commission, did not attend the proceedings regularly.
This newspaper can also reveal that a senior lawyer Molefi Ntlhoki, who resigned as the chairman of the commission due to sharp differences with Law Society president Zwelakhe Mda, has since refused to hand over the notes he took during the proceedings.
Ntlhoki was asked to hand over the notes that he took during the hearings that he chaired but refused saying he was not the secretary of the commission.
Apparently Ntlhoki is the only one of the five commissioners who attended the hearings consistently.
The commission’s secretary, Moshoeshoe Mokaloba, also missed some crucial sessions.
Mokaloba’s role was to record proceedings during the hearings.
So did the other commissioners Voyelwa Kotelo and Thabang Khauoe.
Only Ntlhoki and Tšeliso Fosa, another commissioner attended the hearings consistently.
This could impact on the integrity and accuracy of the report which the law society has been sitting on despite the fact that the commission finished hearings earlier this year.
Ntlhoki yesterday told the Lesotho Times that he refused to hand over his notes because he was not the secretary of the commission.
“The commission had its own secretary. I was only the chairman,” Ntlhoki said.
“Besides, everyone was taking notes.
“Even if I took notes the commission had to rely on the notes taken by the secretary.
“But I refused to hand over my notes when I resigned because most of the commissioners did not attend the proceedings regularly,” Ntlhoki said.
He said other commissioners did not attend the proceedings saying they had cases to handle in the courts of law.
Ntlhoki also said there were no allowances in the commission.
“There were no allowances in the commission. I had to ensure that my office was operating because I have staff to pay and I also have a family to look after. We were only given just over M1 000 once.
“We were expected to run the commission like a charity organisation,” he added.
“It was the question of maladministration of having a commission without funds,” Ntlhoki said.
Ntlhoki said the attendance by some of the commissioners was poor with the exception of one commissioner.
“At least me and Mr (Tšeliso) Fosa used to attend regularly,” Ntlhoki said.
The commission was composed of five commissioners.
If Ntlhoki’s argument is true the long-awaited report is likely to have discrepancies because it would mean that there would be certain information missing.
However Khauoe denied that Ntlhoki had refused to hand over his notes to the commission when he resigned.
“It is not true that he refused to hand over his notes.
“In fact I collected them from him,” Khauoe said.
But Ntlhoki insisted that he refused to hand over his notes.
“If anyone got hold of my notes he or she might have accessed them through other means. I did not give them to anybody,” Ntlhoki said.
The commission was established in 2008 but on