Metsing, Mochoboroane want court to act in good faith

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Itumeleng Koleile

Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader Mothetjoa Metsing and his erstwhile “partner in crime”, Movement for Economic Change leader Selibe Mochoboroane, want constitutional court to act in good faith and quash treason charges they are set to face for alleged role on August 30, 2014 coup attempt.

Mochoboroane and Metsing had their hopes that they would not be facing treason charges crushed when the Constitutional court declared a deal, popularized as Clause 10, brokered by South African former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke an envoy acting in the position of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitator President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The constitutional court decision paved way for the office of the director of public prosecutions to indict the due for their alleged role in the Court attempt of August 2014.

Metsing and Mochoboroane’s lawyer, Advocate Motiea Teele Kings Counsel, told the court that the decisions made by SADC cannot be simply ignored, he argued it was independently implored by Lesotho as a member state to the regional body to intervene.

He emphasized it is for that reason that compliance with international law to protect his clients be a matter of good faith.

Teele while addressing the court yesterday in an attempt to make a point as to why decisions made in the Memorandum of Understanding of 16 October 2018 that gave birth to Clause 10 are enforceable to Lesotho.

Teele said it is a matter of harmonization that some issues pertaining to government be treated with good faith instead of the constitutional law.

In his argument, Teele said Lesotho ought not to be treated in as an island, especially in the face of the fact that SADC was asked to intervene voluntarily.

“Lesotho together with other member states signed the SADC Treaty in 1993, as such it is a matter of good faith and obligation that it complies with the principles as per the treaty,” he said.

Moreover, Teele adds that his client Metsing—a former deputy prime minister to former prime minister Thabane whom he allegedly sought to depose in a coup attempt in August 2014—should have not made it back to Lesotho had it not been for Clause 10 that was included in the Memorandum Of Understanding signed by now deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu and former Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki who were for the opposition and the government respectively at the time.

“We are a democratic country, has asked for direction from a regional body, you cannot pick and choose which principles should be followed. When peace is sought, you need to harmonize,” he said.

But, the crown, represented by Advocate Christopher Lephuthing said it should not be ignored that both Metsing and Mochoboroane should join their counterparts in jail.

He said it is not fair that Metsing is evading having to be trialed together with his alleged co-conspirators in the said coup attempt of August 30, 2014, likes former Lesotho Defence Force Commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli for the charges of treason.

Lephuthing said Metsing’s affidavit makes it clear that they are willing to fight to go to jail and want to be trialed separately from their co-accused.

“This matter is not even supposed to be before the constitutional court but before the criminal court. As a matter of fact, all this is a waste of time,” he said.

Lephuthing also made it a point that further delays by both Mochoboroane and Metsing will prompt the prosecution to impose some sanctions over them.

The case is continuing and it has been postponed to Monday 29, June.

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