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More trouble for radio presenter

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — Veteran Radio Lesotho presenter Motlatsi Ncholu’s troubles are not yet over as the prosecution has filed court papers in the High Court in a bid to revive his sexual harassment case.

The Quthing magistrate’s court, in March 2008, sentenced Ncholu to 10 years imprisonment for fondling a 15 year-old girl. Ncholu was charged with unlawfully, wrongfully and intentionally committing a sexual act with a 15 year-old girl by fondling her in Quthing, 152 kilometres south of Maseru in July 2007 when they were on their way to Durban, South Africa.

Ncholu appealed against his conviction and sentence.

But later he changed his appeal into the review application in which he asked the High Court to review his case.

The High Court in May last year ordered that Ncholu’s case should start afresh within three months after the judgment.

Ncholu’s appeal was based on what he alleged to be misdirection by the magistrate’s court during court proceedings.

The prosecution did not prosecute the case until Ncholu filed an application on November 23 last year in the High Court seeking the court to quash his sexual harassment charges because the prosecution had failed to prosecute him within the stipulated three months.

High Court Judge Kelello Guni later set Ncholu free from sexual harassment charges saying the prosecution seemed to have lost interest in prosecuting the case.

However the prosecution two weeks ago filed an application in the High Court to rescind the High Court judgment which set Ncholu free.

The prosecution seeks an order “that the execution of default judgment in CR/APN/685 granted on the 3rd May 2010 be stayed pending finalisation of the main application and;

“That the default judgment be rescinded and the main application proceeds in the normal manner.”

If the prosecution’s application to rescind the judgment which set Ncholu free succeeds it means that Ncholu’s application to quash his sexual harassment case would be argued.

The crown says it has prospects of success if the court allows them to argue Ncholu’s application to quash his sexual harassment case.

Former Senior Crown Counsel Sefako Seema says the crown was confident of winning the case against Ncholu because he was erroneously freed.

Seema is now working as Chief Prosecutor for the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) since May.

“It is clear from the aforegoing that the obtaining of an order by respondent herein (Ncholu) was erroneous in that respondent conveniently withheld important information regarding the cause of parties not setting the matter down within three months and the ‘delay’ caused, that it was due to his fault.

Seema said he had been communicating with Ncholu’s lawyers to find suitable dates to go to Quthing to set hearing dates for the case.

However, the High Court has not yet set a date to hear the prosecution’s application to rescind the High Court judgment which set Ncholu free from sexual harassment case.

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