MASERU – Following the suspension of Chief Justice (CJ) Nthomeng Majara, King Letsie III
has appointed Her Ladyship Madam Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase as the Acting Chief Justice (CJ) of Lesotho.
According to a letter dated September 10, 2018,from the Prime Minister’s office written to Justice Mahase, the King appointed Justice Mahase pursuant to Section 120 (4) of the Constitution of Lesotho.
The letter also reads that the appointment shall be for period of until when the tribunal appointed to investigate the question of removal of the incumbent (Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara) from this position has completed its work and made the necessary recommendations to His Majesty.
The suspension of substantive Chief Justice Majara and appointment of Justice Mahase to act in her position comes at a time when the CJ Majara is awaiting the Constitutional Court to hear her case in which she challenges the Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s plan to recommend her suspension to His Majesty King Letsie III in terms of Section 121 (7) of the Constitution pending finalization of the case.
According to the CJ Majara’s notice of motion filed before court, she wants the court to order the respondents who also include the Minister of Law and Constitutional Affairs and the Attorney General to be interdicted and prevented from taking any or whatever measures against her in accordance with the Constitution pending finalization of her case.
Chief Justice Majara also wants the Prime Minister to be prevented and interdicted from recommending to His Majesty King the appointment of the tribunal contemplated in Section 121 (5) of the Constitution that is intended to investigate her fitness to hold office.
She also wants the court to declare that the government under the supervision of Prime Minister Thabane has contravened the provisions of Section 118 (2) and (3) of the Constitution by requiring and or demanding her resignation as Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
She further wants the court to declare that the statements of the government of Lesotho through agency of the Minister of Law as fully set out in a document attached to the court papers and annexed ‘MN1’ violates the provisions of Section 121 (5) of the Constitution which require fair procedure to be followed where the impeachment of a Judge is contemplated.
The Chief Justice is in this case represented by Advocate Motiea Teele KC.