Revisit “illegal” mobile traffic court, AD urges govt


Ntsebeng Motsoeli

THE opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD) has accused the government of oppressing and further impoverishing Basotho through the “illegal” establishment of a mobile traffic court which often imposes exorbitant fines on offenders.

The Monyane Moleleki-led party says it is not even clear who is responsible for establishing the court and who it answers to allegedly because the ministers of Transport (Tšoeu Mokeretla) and Law and Justice (Professor Nqosa Mahao) have both denied responsibility.

It therefore wants the government to explain who is responsible for the court as well as order it to stop imposing the “hefty” fines.

The Mobile Traffic Court was launched on 30 June 2020 to try traffic offences on the spot and reduce the huge backlog of traffic cases at the magistrates’ courts. The court is supposed to have a prosecutor and a magistrate to expeditiously try cases.

But the court has been roundly condemned by motorists across the country to a point where they have created groups on Facebook and WhatsApp dubbed Iveco Updates where they notify each other about its whereabouts. The groups are meant to alert motorists to avoid whatever route the court would be operating from on any particular day.

Barely a month after its launch, the Maseru Region Taxi Operators (MRTO) filed a High Court application to stop the court from operating on the grounds that it is a “mockery of justice” only aimed at extorting money from motorists. The case is pending before the courts. Yesterday, public transport operators in Maseru withdrew services in protest at what they said were unfair and exorbitant fines imposed on them by the court. The move left thousands of commuters stranded and most of them were observed walking to and from work.

Earlier in the week, the AD weighed in on the mobile court saga, saying it should be withdrawn because it was an “illegal nightmare” imposed by the government to defraud “poor” Basotho.

“The Alliance of Democrats has learned with shame and great concern the unjustified use of an Iveco vehicle cum (mobile) magistrates’ court,” the AD said in a letter to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, Prof Mahao and Mr Mokeretla.

“It (mobile court) denies the Basotho their right to seek legal representation. The presence of heavily armed military personnel is used to intimidate people.

“Basotho are pressed for monies that they do not have. Where does this government expect them to get the money? We appeal to the government to refrain from this act of exploitation of taking people’s monies. The Minister of Law and Justice (Prof Mahao) says his ministry has nothing to do with the vehicle. In the same manner, the Minister of Transport (Mr Mokeretla) has also denied it. This vehicle is a nightmare that no one wants to own but is in the meantime sucking people of their hard-earned money.

“Honourable Prime Minister, to whom does this vehicle belong? Who is responsible for it? Under which law does it operate? We appeal to you Honourable Prime Minister to explain to the Basotho nation about the operations of this vehicle. Basotho deserve to know where the vehicle belongs. We call on government to reconsider these cruel fines,” the AD states.

1 Comment
  1. Hlalefang says

    Ntate Moleleki ekare a ka ea phomolang joaloka bo mphato ba hae,re sa utloile ka eena le boqitolo ba hae ba nako e telele, ho sa lekane,rona re batla naha e ee pele khale a pota- pota mmusong mona ho se nko ho tsoa lemina ntle le boqhekanyetsi feela ,ho lekane,ke tsota le batho ba mo setseng morao

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