Lesotho

Litigation in Lesotho as King declines to appoint judges

Many people in the legal world will be aware of the looming constitutional crisis in Kenya where the President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has refused to appoint a number of judges whose names were presented to him by the Judicial Service Commission. Fewer, however, will have been aware that a similar problem has arisen in Lesotho and that litigation is now pending to test whether the King – Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy – may refuse to approve the appointment of candidates proposed by the commission.

No-one disputes that Lesotho has a serious shortage of judges. And with some having recently retired and two recent deaths, the situation has now become critical.

Towards the end of August, the Judicial Service Commission met to consider new appointments. There were five vacancies, and after the commission’s consideration, five names were finalised and sent to the King for appointment.

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.

Read judgment

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.

Judge Lebohang Aaron Molete of Lesotho RIP

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.  

Judge Lebohang Aaron Molete, 61, a specialist in commercial law, died in Lesotho last weekend.

A report of his death in Newsworth noted  that he died on his way to hospital. Family member, Advocate Mohale Thipe, said that Judge Molete had been suffering ‘complications’ with his health.

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