Court to decide Metsing-Mochoboroane fate in three weeks

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By Itumeleng Koleile

A senior counsel seeking court to delay prosecution of treason charged former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Minister Selibe Mochoboroane says the decision would not be to “defeat the ends of justice…we are not trying to hobble the hands of the Director of Public Prosecution”.

The Court declared it will hand down judgment in three weeks after hearing arguments by both the prosecution and the defense counsel.

Advocate Motiea Teele, King’s Counsel had told the court during arguments that both Metsing and Mochoboroane leaders of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy and its splinter Movement for Economic Change are pleading with the court to accept the term of Clause 10 as it is not mean to defeat the ends of justice but we urge the court to practice good faith then later deal with prosecuting politicians.

Teele said arguing why decisions made in the Memorandum of Understanding of October 16, 2018 are enforceable to Lesotho, especially pertaining to treason charges faced by Metsing and Mochoboroane.

A memorandum of understanding that was inked during Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his deputy Monyane Moleleki led government alongside then Official Leader of Opposition Mathibeli Mokhothu (incumbent deputy Prime Minister) a peace accord meant to allow Metsing to return to Lesotho after fleeing alleged persecution.

The deal was negotiated by the former South African Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, an envoy representing the Southern African Development Community’s facilitator to Lesotho, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Teele said that in applying for rescission, the political leaders are not trying to evade justice; however, the government ought to practice matters of good faith in order to allow peace to prevail.

He said the country has to fulfill its promise in line with the Memorandum of Understanding and then later deal with prosecuting the concerned parties.

This, Teele said is according to clause 10 which indicated that Lesotho ought to deal with the National Reforms, following which the politicians charged with treason will be eligible for trial.

He also said government made the decision in the interest of peace to have the national reforms completed before dealing with prosecution of political leaders, Metsing and Mochoboroane.

However, advocate Christopher Lephuthing, appearing before the court for the prosecution, differed with Teele arguing that both Metsing and Mochoboroane are trying to dodge criminal prosecution on account that they are politicians and are hiding behind clause 10.

Not only did Lephuthing plead with the court to dismiss their rescission application but he also emphasized that in his affidavit, Metsing said he is a political leader thus he should be trialed after the National Reforms while Lesotho Defence Force former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli trial must continue.

Lephuthing said such an act is discrimination which on any account should not be allowed.

Justice Teboho Molapo said the judgment on the case will be delivered within three weeks.

The case was before Justice Mahase alongside Justice Malapo and Justice Semapo Peete.

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