Lesotho

Lesotho’s Minister of Law and Justice sues over allegations he helped fabricate evidence in murder case against former PM, Thomas Thabane

It has been a very busy few weeks in Lesotho. Included in these developments was a major cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, as well as the launch of new politically-charged court cases. Among the most interesting of these cases is a defamation action brought by the minister of law and justice,  Nqosa Mahao. In a newly-filed case he seeks to challenge a newspaper story that carried allegations against him made by a senior police officer.

For some time, there have been rumblings in Lesotho: given the allegedly water-tight case implicating former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in the murder of his former wife, why had he still not been charged? Included in this evidence was said to be the ‘fact’ that his own mobile phone was used at the site of the murder.

Lesotho amnesty deal unconstitutional – apex court

Relatives of people murdered allegedly on the orders of prominent politicians in Lesotho have gone to court to challenge a new agreement brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Under this agreement, all parties have been urged to join talks on the way forward for the country, and those now in exile out of fear of being charged with murder and other crimes, have been assured no action would be taken against them if they returned for the talks.

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When Lesotho’s squabbling political parties bound themselves to a talk-shop, what – if anything – were the legal implications of that agreement? This question has become crucial in Lesotho, and it is made more complex by the fact that the idea of serious negotiations comes from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Since SADC’s involvement is hardly a secret, what standing does any agreement related to the negotiations have in international law?

Constitution 'is the boss', Lesotho judge tells police

Respect for individual rights and the Rule of Law is collapsing in several states in this region – Zimbabwe being a prime example. So it is a welcome relief to find a decision by a high court judge that is dedicated to the preservation and protection of constitutional values. The judge concerned, Sakoane Sakoane of Lesotho’s high court, had some powerful words of warning for the police after finding that they had attacked and assaulted a man for no acceptable reason.

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Tsolo Tjela is an unlikely candidate for police assault and brutality. At 51, he is solid citizen of Lesotho and chairs the Ha Likhotolo Village Crime Prevention Committee in the district of Mafeteng.

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