In a bold move that echoes through the annals of Lesotho’s history, fired Principal Secretaries (PSs) Matela Thabane, advocate Bereng Makotoko, and ‘Masekhobe Moholobela have lodged a legal challenge against the government with a groundbreaking prayer.
Their application was filed this week in the High Court.
Central to the trio’s demands is a call for the High Court to assertively declare that Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane is leading an irresponsible government, unmatched in its lack of responsibility since the nation’s independence in 1966.
Thabane, Makotoko, and Moholobela are unflinchingly challenging the termination of their employment contracts, dated August 3, 2023, alleging that these actions amount to constructive contempt and breach the principle of sub-judice.
Beyond their personal claims, the trio’s legal battle takes on a broader purpose – demanding that the government be ordered to fulfill comprehensive national reforms before making any new appointments to statutory positions.
This demand emphasises their commitment to a governance system that prioritises thorough reforms and transparency.
Further prayers in their application encompass concerns related to benefits, pensions, and the use of official resources. They seek the court’s intervention to ensure that their rights and entitlements, as stipulated by the law, are respected and upheld.
Pending finalization of the matter, Thabane, Makotoko, and Moholobela wants the government to be interdicted from terminating their salaries.
They want the government to also be interdicted from repossessing its vehicles in their possession for their personal and official use.
“An order restraining the Respondents recruiting anybody to the positions of the Applicants pursuant to the advertisements made that their positions are vacant pending finalization of this matter,” reads the court papers.
Respondents in the matter are Prime Minister, the Specified Officers Defined Contribution Pension Fund, Public Service Commission, and Attorney General.
Matela, Makotoko, and Moholobela are part of a group of PSs who launched litigation earlier this year when the government sought to part ways with them.
Initially 16, the other group of six reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with the government in May this year. They are Matṥeliso ‘Manaleli Phafoli, ‘Maneo Moliehi Ntene, ‘Mantsenki Nthabiseng Sekete Mphalane, ‘Mole Khumalo, Moliehi Moejane and ‘Mamoeketsi Nkiseng Ellen Ntho.
Another group of five, Tlhopheho Sefali, Dira Khama, Retṥelisitsoe Mohale, Lira Moeti, and ‘Mamonyane Bohloko also reportedly later reached a settlement with the government.