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Court stops eviction of college lecturers

Tefo Tefo

MASERU — The Lesotho Labour Court on Friday blocked the eviction of two Lerotholi Polytechnic lecturers who were dismissed from their posts last week.
The Lerotholi Polytechnic Council endorsed the dismissal of ‘Masebofane Ramaema and Puleng Sakoane on Monday following recommendations by the college rector Tsietsi Lebakae.
The college’s disciplinary committee last November ruled that the two lecturers be dismissed from their jobs for failing to discharge their duties.
The college accused Ramaema and Sakoane of failing to conduct computyping lessons.
They however appealed against their dismissal to the college council.
The council last week endorsed the two’s dismissal paving way for their eviction from the college’s accommodation facilities.
Ramaema and Sakoane received their eviction letters from Lebakae on Tuesday.
The lecturers however appealed to the Labour Court, which then issued an order stopping the eviction late Friday afternoon.
Advocate Tsúpane Maieane — who is representing the two lecturers — on Friday told the Sunday Express his clients intend lodging an appeal with the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR), challenging their dismissal.
“Although we intend filing the appeal with the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution, we had to seek the order in the Labour Court because the DDPR had not yet resumed its duties following the Christmas break.
“We could not wait for their opening because my clients had been ordered to vacate their college accommodation by the 8th of January,” Maieane said.
He said they expected to lodge their appeal with the DDPR tomorrow.
“The court order we obtained has the condition that we should file the appeal within seven days of the opening (of the DDPR). It means we should file within seven days after Monday.”
Meanwhile, Ramaema said they had decided to contest their dismissal “as we believe we have been unfairly treated”.
“The reasoning behind the college council’s decision was that we did not make enough attempts to solve the problems we encountered in our duties,” said Ramaema.
But according to Ramaema, they were not able to conduct the lessons because there were no chairs in the computer laboratory for the students to sit on.
“The judgment says if the rector failed to solve the problem, we should have reported the matter to the council.
“It also suggests we should have gone further to ask for the intervention of Education Minister ‘Mamphono Khaketla.
“I think we are rightfully challenging their decision, because we had reported the problem where it should have been reported,” Ramaema said.
The college had stopped paying the lecturers’ salaries in November but last month, magistrate Tséliso Bale ordered they should continue receiving their pay, until the case is finalised.

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