Home NewsLocal News Mosito urges technology use in Lesotho’s courts 

Mosito urges technology use in Lesotho’s courts 

by Lesotho Times
0 comment

Moorosi Tsiane 

THE Court of Appeal is sitting physically for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Its last physical sitting was in October 2019 and it only resumed this setup this week when its first session of 2024 got underway. 

This time Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane has joined the apex court bench to help it expedite cases. 

He joins the court’s president Kananelo Mosito, and Justices; Petrus Damaseb from Namibia, Phillip Musonda (Zambia), Moses Chinhengo (Zimbabwe) and Johann Van Der Westhuizen (South Africa). 

The six are set to hear 36 cases in this session which will hear cases until 18 April 2024 and deliver judgements in May. 

Speaking at the court’s opening session on Monday this week, Justice Mosito emphasised the need for the judiciary to strengthen its digital infrastructure to refine remote hearing of cases as resources were becoming scarce. 

“In 2020, Lesotho in concert with nations worldwide orchestrated a bold transition embracing the digital expanse through the remote hearing rules under which we were able to continue to function as Court of Appeal,” Justice Mosito noted. 

“Though conceived in necessity, this digital transformation has unfolded access and efficiency previously unimagined in our legal system. It has shown us that the scales of justice, when balanced with the harmony of technology, can extend their reach far beyond the marble walls of court houses into the very homes and lives of those we serve. 

“We have to become accustomed to operating remotely even after Covid-19 because the resources are becoming less and less nowadays. “There are no longer resources in abounded to continue to build court houses. It says we have to come up with new technologically supported legal processes to ensure that we continue to administer justice remotely most of the time.” 

Justice Mosito said judges ought to be capacitated in the usage of technology. 

“Technological advancements should not exclude any participants in our justice system. But this also raises the issue of training and competence. Technological and legal training is necessary for judges, court staff and legal professionals. 

“Training in legal research contributes to more accessible and efficient case processing and contributes to a more accessible, efficient and fair justice system. Additional training in legal research and technological reasoning is crucial for maintaining the integrity and responsiveness of our legal system. 

“We need to be capacitated so that our judgments can come out sooner than it usually used to be the case.” 

He also reminded legal practitioners to adhere to court rules and processes to avoid wasting time of the courts. 

“This is so that our time is not taken away by condonations and disputes involving cats and dogs.” 

For his part, Law Society of Lesotho president, Lintle Tuke, encouraged lawyers to stick to the principles that guide their profession. 

“As we delve into the matters before us, let’s remember the core principles that guide our profession; fairness, integrity, and a steadfast commitment to the rule of law. Together, let us uphold these principles and ensure that justice is not just a lofty ideal but a tangible reality for all who seek it. 

“Today marks a significant moment in our legal calendar as we reconvene for the physical sitting of the Court of Appeal. It’s time for reflection, adaptation, and above all, a commitment to enhance access to justice,” said Advocate Tuke. 

Adv Tuke also added that there was a need to develop frameworks for the reporting of Court of Appeal decisions. 

“In an era where transparency and accountability reigns supreme, it’s imperative that we lay down clear paths for documenting and disseminating these pivotal rulings. By doing so, we not only ensure consistency and coherence in our jurisprudence but also empower our legal community and the public at large with invaluable insights into the workings of our judicial system,” Adv Tuke said. 

Some of the prominent cases in this session include the case of former Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) director general, Mahlomola Manyokole, in which he is seeking to have the corruption charges against him and others dropped. 

Basotho Action Party (BAP) former secretary general, Lebohang Thotanyana, is also challenging his expulsion from the party. 

Prominent lawyer, Rethabile Setlojoane, is challenging the police’s decision to charge him alongside his fraud accused client, Lehlohonolo Selate, for allegedly receiving “stolen funds”.  

 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

About Us

Lesotho’s widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: editor@lestimes.co.ls 

Advertising: marketing@lestimes.co.ls 

Telephone: +266 2231 5356