FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, former army commander Tlali Kamoli, and newly appointed Development Planning Minister Selibe Mochoboroane’s Constitutional Court application to stop the state from trying them for treason has been postponed to 11 June 2020.
Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase this week postponed the case to give Attorney General Advocate Haae Phoofolo time to file his papers in connection with the case.
This after Messrs Metsing and Mochoboroane’s lawyer, Adv Motiea Teele, had asked for the postponement to enable the new All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Democratic Congress (DC) governing coalition to state its position regarding the case.
“We are not trying to delay the trial but we seek a postponement to allow the new government to consider its position on the treason charges,” Adv Teele said on Monday.
Justice Mahase, who was the presiding judge, then postponed the case to 11 June 2020 to give Adv Phoofolo time to file his papers stating the new government’s position in connection with the case.
A new ABC-DC coalition government headed by Moeketsi Majoro was installed on 20 May 2020, replacing the former four party coalition headed by former premier Thomas Thabane.
Last month the Southern African Development Community (SADC) head of the facilitation team to Lesotho, Retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke, wrote to Mr Thabane, saying SADC wanted the trial stopped in line with a SADC-brokered 2018 agreement between the then government and opposition.
In terms of the October 2018 agreement, Mr Metsing and other opposition politicians are not supposed to be charged with any crimes until after the completion of the multi-sector reforms recommended by SADC in 2016.
Prior to the fall of his government, Mr Thabane had not stated whether or not the state would comply with the SADC position.
Justice Mahase and her Constitutional Court colleagues, Justices Semapo Peete and Molefi Makara had previously outlawed the October 2018 agreement. But they have now been asked to rescind their judgment.
The treason case is in connection with the 30 August 2014 attempted coup against the first government of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.