Thabane withdraws Mosito suspension threat

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Mohalenyane Phakela

PRIME Minster Thomas Thabane yesterday abandoned his plans to suspend and impeach Court of Appeal president Kananelo Mosito.

Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase also agreed to withdraw her 27 May 2019 letter accusing Justice Mosito of interfering with her administrative functions. Justice Mahase’s letter was seized upon by Dr Thabane and used as the basis for the latter’s 5 July 2019 letter to Justice Mosito demanding that the apex court boss “show cause” why he should not be suspended and impeached for interfering with the functions of the chief justice’s office.

Dr Thabane’s move to suspend Justice Mosito was challenged in two separate Court of Appeal applications by the Law Society of Lesotho and the Professor Nqosa Mahao-led faction of the All Basotho Convention (ABC). The Mahao application had been set down for hearing tomorrow but it will no longer be heard after Dr Thabane and Justice Mahase yesterday reached an out of court settlement with the Mahao faction to withdraw their letters to Justice Mosito.

The deed of settlement which was subsequently endorsed by Court of Appeal judges, Petrus Damaseb (presiding judge), Moses Chinhengo and Tafuma Mtshiya states that “the first and second respondents (Dr Thabane and Justice Mahase) hereby unequivocally withdraw letters that they have hitherto written to the President of the Court of Appeal”.

“The parties herein agree that the (Mahao and others’) application (challenging the planned suspension of Justice Mosito) is amicably settled and consequently withdrawn and each party will bear its own costs.”

Prof Mahao, ABC secretary general Lebohang Hlaele, chairperson Samuel Rapapa, spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa and deputy spokesperson ‘Matebatso Doti were the applicants while Dr Thabane, Justice Mahase and Attorney General, Advocate Haae Phoofolo were first to third respondents respectively.

The Mahao camp was represented by lawyer, Advocate Koili Ndebele, while the respondents were represented by Advocate Ranale Thoahlane.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Court of Appeal will hear the Law Society of Lesotho’s application to have Justice Mahase interdicted from allocating judges to hear the Law Society’s Constitutional Court application in the same case. The Law Society challenged Dr Thabane’s move to suspend Justice Mosito in the Constitutional Court and they subsequently filed a Court of Appeal application to have Justice Mahase interdicted from allocating the case in the Constitutional Court.

The Law Society’s apex court application is due to be heard today.

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