… after asking the court to interpret good interest percentage for loans
MASERU – The High Court’s Commercial division has postponed to September 11, 2018 the hearing of a case in which several Basotho nationals are complaining about unfair and unlawful rates which they say Letshego Financial Services is charging them.
The postponement of the case was confirmed by the applicants Lawyer Advocate Moeketsi Rampai who also explained that the court postponed the case to enable Lawyers involved in the case to finalise filing of relevant court papers.
According to the applicants notice of motion filed before court, they want the court to declare that the cumulative amount charged under the auspices of Regulations 18 and 19 of the Financial Institutions (Credit Only and Deposit Taking Micro-Finance Institutions Regulations Legal Notice No. 51 of 2014) in excess of the capital loan amount constitutes interest.
The applicants want the court to also declare that the interest, charges and fees charged under the auspices of Regulation 18 and 19 of the Financial Institutions (Credit Only and Deposit Taking Micro-Finance Institutions Regulations Legal Notice No. 51 of 2014) which yield excess of the capital loan is unlawful.
Alternative to the above prayer (prayer two), the applicants want the court to declare that any repayment of the loan advanced and lent to the applicants in excess of the capital loan amount is unlawful and that the permitted charges and fees as encapsulated in Regulations 18 and 19 shall not exceed the permitted interest rate recognizable in law which is fixed at 25 per cent per annum.
Pursuant to the above prayers, the applicants want Letshego Financial Services to be directed to recalculate and refund them any monies charged from them which are in excess of the charges permitted in law.
Should the court grant all above prayers, the applicants want the court to direct the Central Bank of Lesotho as the second respondent to exercise its oversight powers by ensuring that Letshego refunds all applicants monies paid as interest which is more than the capital amount lent to them or any other monies or fees charged on them which the court might find to be unlawful.
The applicants further want the court to declare that any clause embodied in the contract and signed for by the applicants and referring to early settlement of the loan as amounting to breach of contract is unconscionable, unlawful and of no force and effect.
Other respondents in the case are the Minister of Finance, the Treasury Department and the Attorney General.
The case is before Justice Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane.