Two judges of the region die as a result of pandemic. RIP

The judiciary in Lesotho and South Africa has been shaken by the death of colleagues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Judge Patrick Jaji of SA’s Eastern Cape bench, and Judge Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane of Lesotho’s commercial court, had been confirmed as having contracted the virus, and died of associated complications.

Two judges have fallen victim to Covid-19, shocking their colleagues on the bench as well as members of the legal profession.

Judge Patrick Jaji, 53, of South Africa, a student activist in his younger days, died in hospital from complications resulting from Covid-19. The Judge President of his division, Selby Mbenenge, said that the effects of the pandemic had now reached ‘the doorstep of the judiciary’.

Namibian President must sign affidavit on exercise of his ‘formidable powers’ – high court

A full bench of Namibia’s high court has found certain of the country’s Covid-19 regulations unconstitutional and invalid. These include regulations aimed at preventing employers from dismissing staff or from forcing them to take leave during the pandemic. The decision made clear to the Namibian authorities that, even during an emergency situation like the present, the constitution must be respected.

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The wide-reaching application was brought to the Namibian high court by seven employers or employer organisations. They lined up 11 respondents ranging from the President of Namibia and some of his top cabinet ministers through to the country’s union bosses.

Supply doctors, health workers with protection, court tells Lesotho government

Doctors in Lesotho have won a major constitutional battle. They brought a case against the country’s minister of health, the minister of finance and the minister of public service, among others, claiming that their constitutional rights had been infringed in a number of ways. In particular they said they were not being provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). They were also unhappy because long-established supplementary payments to them had been cut off by government, all in the name of shortage of funds.

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There’s one thing any reader of this judgment will ask – who would want to work as a doctor in Lesotho right now? And the answer must be that very few outsiders would put their hands up to serve there, under present conditions.


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