JUSTICE Nthomeng Majara was sworn-in yesterday as Lesotho’s new and first female chief justice.
Justice Majara (51) took her oath of office before Acting Chief Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, during a brief ceremony held at the Royal Palace in Maseru. His Majesty King Letsie III and Prime Minister Thomas Thabane were among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
Addressing the media soon after the ceremony, Justice Majara vowed to address the challenges facing the judiciary, top among them the backlog of cases in the courts.
“I’m truly scared, but I promise to fully dedicate myself to my work. We are all aware that people are complaining about a number of issues, which include a huge backlog of cases, the delay in delivering judgments and the unnecessary postponement of cases. All these need to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” she said.
Justice Majara was first appointed to the High Court bench in 2004, after previously serving as a magistrate.
Born on 8 June 1963 in Maqhaka village, Berea district, Justice Majara was a law lecturer at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) from 1995 to 2000.
Between 1996 and 2003, she was a member of the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Educational Trust, where her duties included undertaking research into issues involving women and the law at national, regional, and international level and developing and distributing educational material on gender and human rights issues.
She also worked as head of international affairs at the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) for a year before her appointment as a High Court judge in 2004.
Justice Majara, who is taking over from Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, who has been acting chief justice since April 2013, earned her Bachelor of Laws, and Master of Laws degrees at the NUL and University of London, respectively.