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A Namibian paralegal is rapidly notching up entries in the index of his country's law reports. In May alone, Alex Mabuku Kamwi featured in two decided cases. In one he was given leave to appeal because of a recusal issue. In the other he tried, a fourth time, for admission as an attorney - only to meet with what Judge Thomas Masuku called, a 'naked failure'. This was because the qualifications on which he bases his fight for admission are not recognised for this purpose by the Namibian law. He was also warned that if he makes another application based on 'spurious grounds' he could well be met with the court's 'ire' as well as a punitive costs order.
One of Zambia’s internationally best-known figures has been awarded huge damages by the high court following his sacking by the late Zambian President, Michael Sata. Clive Chirwa had been head-hunted by Sata to return to Zambia and take over as CEO of Zambia Railways. Just three months into the five-year contract, however, he was fired. He was told that he was being ‘retired in the public interest’. But Chirwa’s contract stipulated he was to be paid for the full five years if the contract were to be terminated for any reason other than ‘disciplinary’. The court awarded Chirwa, who has been fighting the matter since 2013, the full balance of his contract payments, plus interest.
A senior member of the judiciary in Lesotho, Lebohang Aaron Molete, has died. He was 61. In 2010 Judge Molete was appointed as a member of the commercial court. He also sat in several significant cases as a member of a specially constituted three-person constitutional panel. He died following a stroke that had left him suffering significant complications.
Lesotho's former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, third wife of the country's former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, has been charged with murdering her predecessor, the former PM's second wife. Though Maesaiah was granted bail by the country’s Acting Chief Justice, an Appeal Court bench – consisting of three ‘outside’ judges – has now found the bail decision tainted by ‘gross irregularities’. After a virtual hearing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the three judges declared the bail decision invalid and ordered that a further bail hearing be urgently convened to resolve the issue. In its decision the court stressed the importance to Lesotho, as a 'constitutional democracy under the rule of law', of the dispute over the validity of the grant of bail in this case. The judges took note of the ‘high status’ and political power wielded by Maesaiah, urged that matters such as this should take place in open court rather than in judicial chambers as has become the norm in Lesotho, and that transparency should characterise such hearings in the interests of the people of the country and the rule of law. In particular, the judges expressed concern that well-established key issues for consideration in bail matters such as the likelihood of interference with witnesses and the prospects of convictions were not taken into account before bail was granted. Nor were any reasons provided by the Acting CJ for her decision to grant bail.