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Businessman admits calling judge at night

Caswell Tlali

MASERU— Controversial businessman Moeketsi “Chaltin” Tsatsanyane (below) has admitted that he called Justice Semapo Peete at night because he wanted him to advise another judge who was handling his case. The admission could however land Tsatsanyane in trouble for allegedly trying to influence a High Court judge. Tsatsanyane told the Sunday Express that he called Justice Peete “as a friend”because he wanted him to talk to Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi on his behalf. “He (Justice Peete) is my personal friend and I had called him as a friend to help me to deal with a different case which I believe his fellow judge is mishandling to my prejudice,” he said.

“I wanted his advice or him to talk to (Justice) Monaphathi because I have lost confidence in him (Justice Monapathi).” Tsatsanyane said Justice Monaphathi was presiding in a case in which Advocate Tekane Maqakachane had obtained a writ of execution against him. Last week a livid Justice Peete said after Tsatsanyane’s call he was considering recusing himself from a constitutional case in which Advocate Tekane Maqakachane is challenging the legality of the seizure of his documents by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO).

The DCEO seized documents from Maqakachane and magistrate Molemo Monethi in a raid that triggered consternation in the judiciary. The anti-corruption unit was investigating allegations that the documents could have been forged. The documents related to a court battle between Tsatsanyane and Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company trustee, Ishmael Monare. This was after Tsatsanyane reported to the anti-corruption unit he believed that documents related to his matter had been forged. Tsatsanyane’s call to Justice Peete could be seen as an attempt to influence a court judgment.

The former politician however told the Sunday Express that he does not believe there was anything wrong with his call to the judge whom he describes as a friend.

He said when he made the call he was not aware that Justice Peete was handling Maqakachane’s case.The call, he said, had nothing to do with the matter he was handling. “Had I known that he was presiding over this case, which I personally have interest in, I could not have called him at all,” Tsatsanyane
said. “I swear that I was not aware that he was presiding over that case. I did not even know that it even existed.” He said he called Justice Peete because he believed the judge could advise Justice Monapathi “as a colleague” on his case against Maqakachane because “I doubted the genuineness and objectivity of his decisions”.

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