The application form of the Basotho Patriotic Party (BPP) leader, Tefo Mapesela and other members of parliament seeking secret voting against speaker of Parliament’s ruling on the matter has been returned for corrections.
The leaders of opposition parties who were represented by the advocate Tekane Maqakachane took to court this week after the speaker of parliament, Sephiri Motanyane declined their appeal to have the voting ballot of no confidence against the incumbent Prime Minisiter and his government done in secret.
Last Friday Motanyane told the National Assembly that parliament is a public domain and its business shall be held publicly without secrets. The dissatisfied comrades sought the court’s intervention with the prayers that the premier poses threats and intimidations against them was that has been the case in the past experience.
However, their call for intercession was close to being rubbished to the bin by the Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane who pricked holes through the application that some Members of parliament political parties were not served with papers and that was birthed by the fact that the premier would take action against them and thus they would not appear on the court papers as either applicants or respondents.
“If there is no service why should we be entertaining this argument when they have not been served? Some of them are saying criminal offences are committed by the Prime Minister and its supporters with threats and intimidations,” Sakoane said.
“As law makers, you would be asking if the criminal offence is being committed by the Prime Minister, why are they not reporting it to the police? They can’t come here and tell us absent any proof in the matter that the Prime Minister is intimidating them,” he said.
Maqakachane tried with no luck to explain to Chief Justice that the affidavit of their application, the applicants has indicated the addresses where they could be served and have prayed specifically that under the circumstances they be allowed to capture their identity,
Sakoane charged that, “It’s only seven parties that have been served here. On the top page is the Movement of Economic Change which makes eight parties served. So we should leave it because there is no proper service here,” he said adding that the Advocate Tekane Maqakachane was negligent to have not checked if every party was served by the Deputy Sheriff.
Meanwhile, for his part, Justice Molefi Makara who was an assessor alongside Justice Polo Banyae reiterated Sakoane’s view said, “We will agree that the third and second respondents are people who would have their substantial interest in the outcome of these proceedings. Then they should directly be made parties in this litigation.
“They should be individually cited and served because that would among others deny them opportunity to present their own case in the form of affidavit,” he said.
On behalf of the respondents, advocate Qhalehang Letsika alongside Christopher Lephuthing and Monaheng Rasekoai said the respondents had a chance to serve all the parties included in the litigation but failed to do so, thus the case should be dismissed or they should be returned to add the names of the respondents.
“It is only where the convenience of the court is involved that certain facts that are mandatory may be condoned by the court of law. Everything is based on hearsay, even in extreme cases where people are scolded and crimes committed, we do file and mention by names and it doesn’t necessarily mean they associate themselves with the allegations. What is important is that they must be cited as the essential part, I submit that the court of appeal has said, speaking on joinder in a case of Masupha versus Mota in LAC/1985/ 29 and the succeeding cases of Morolong, makes the point very clear that “it is essential that parties which are likely to be affected by the proceedings of the judgment must be cited,” Letsika said.
“The applicant had every opportunity to file the respondents and ensure that they become part of these proceedings. The correct option would be to dismiss the application; it doesn’t end of the world for them,” he said.
After protracted deliberations and arguments, advocate Maqakachane stated that, “My Lord I would submit that the people against whom the interim have been served and if the court says other parties against whom no order has been given, they have irregularly been served and the matter would not proceed or dismiss the application on that account I can’t take it any further.
Justice Banyane who delivered the ruling told the applicants to go back and reconcile their application.
“The persons listed under Annexure A must each be served. The political parties of the respondents must be mentioned and also be served,” she said.