The Minister of Development Planning Selibe Mochoboroane said he is ready to do the onerous journey throughout his trial where he is charged for treason regardless of the politically influenced courts.
The plucky Mochoboroane who is also leader of co-ruling Movement for Economic (MEC) said he will attend his trial to finality irrespective of the porous courts.
He is charged alongside the former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kennedy Kamoli, Litekanyo Nyakane, Motloheloa Ntsane, Leutsoa Motsieloa and leader of opposition Lesotho Congress for Democrats (LCD) Mothetjoa Metsing who has skipped country, on charges of a coup d’état against the 2014 Motsoahae Thomas Thabane led regime.
The treason case which was presided by Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane was allocated to her ladyship Maliepollo Makhetha this week by Registrar Mathato Sekoai.
This is after Sakoane was ordered to recuse himself from the matter by the court of Appeal last month. The matter came at the backdrop of appeal sought by the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP) Hlalefang Motinyane following an “unfair dismissal” of her retains Counsel Advocate Shaun Abrahams in February this year.
Abrahams was taken off the case after failing to make appearance to court on the set date of February 10, 2022 which impelled Sakoane to conduct an inquiry on February 17 where he quizzed Motinyane along with Abrahams on matters relating to Abrahams’s failure to honour the court.
Dissatisfied with the CJ’s decision to kick Abrahams out of his court, where the DPP applied for the recusal of Sakoane who dismissed the application. The unyielding DPP then approached the apex court to have the CJ’s decisions reviewed hence an Appeal Court’s order that Sakoane recuse himself and have the Registrar re-allocate the matter to another judge.
In an interview with this publication on Wednesday, Mochoboroane said the permeable courts were recognised during a time in fighting was rocking the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and when the foreign judges were roped-in to preside over high profile cases, headhunted by politicians.
“I am a leader of a political party; I have followers who are subjected to a politically influenced justice system of Lesotho. This came to light when ABC had cases and one would know that if a certain judge is presiding over the case then a certain part of ABC is going to win.
“That became a true reflection that our local courts are politically influenced, even the way foreign judges were engaged is convincing because politicians went out to hunt for those lawyers that they told what to do. That tells you that the justice system of Lesotho is compromised,” he said.
He continued that he is ready to taste the consequences of the porous courts whether they take him to prison or not.
“I am a law abiding citizen, regardless of how political it is I had to subject myself to the same pain. I should feel that taste, whether bitter or sour, I know there has never been a time when I tried to overthrow government. I have never done that.
“The fact is there were serious differences between LCD and ABC then and soldiers were supposed to do their job according to how they reacted to the matter. I have no reason to run away at all, I will go attend the case to its finality.
“If we have to reform the judiciary I will do that with the experience I had because this was tested on me. Even if I have to go to jail for false allegations, I am a leader,” he said.
He continued that, “When you are a political leader, there are things that you have to expect; you can live or die. Political circumstances can lead you to a demise of your life.”
“It is embarrassing for a politician to be charged with rape or stealing, but not with treason. In 2017 when they were torturing Mokhosi (Tséliso LCD Deputy Leader) and others, I said I will die here in Lesotho, I will not go anywhere,” he said.