Instant justice for road offenders
Nat Molomo/Bereng Mpaki
THE Road Fund on donated a vehicle to the Ministry of Law and Justice which will be used as a mobile traffic court to try road offences.
The court will ensure that traffic offences that require court sittings are immediately tried and finalised and drivers can pay spot fines.
The vehicle cost the Road Fund M1, 1 million and was handed over to the Minister of Law and Justice, Professor Nqosa Mahao, by Transport Minister, Tšoeu Mokeretla at the Commercial Court grounds in Maseru.
Also present at the handover were representatives from the Road Fund, the Road Safety, Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS), Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Chief Magistrate ‘Matankiso Nthunya among others.
Professor Mahao said the mobile court would speed up the trial of roadside traffic offences.
“This is an important contribution towards the speedy dispensing of justice because it is the duty of the government to accord justice to the people and their property,” Prof Mahao said.
“We are hopeful that from now on we will have instant justice on the roads as the Chief Magistrate will be there and spot fines will be paid right there.”
For his part, Transport Minister Mokeretla said the advent of the mobile facility would improve the government’s revenue collection by reducing possible bribery.
“Since the mobile court will speed up the serving of justice on the spot, there will be no chance for motorists to secretly approach officials to pay bribes and this will help in the collection of the much-needed revenue for the government,” Mr Mokeretla said.
He said the court would also significantly reduce the expenses that the government is currently incurring in trying traffic offences in the conventional courts.
Road Fund chief executive officer, Nkekeletse Makara, said they decided to assist the courts after observing that traffic offences were taking too long to conclude.
“That was when we realised the need for a mobile court facility,” Mr Makara said.
He said the mobile court would provide services in different parts of the country.
He also appealed to the beneficiaries to use the facility for its intended purpose. The Road Fund will handle the vehicle’s maintenance, insurance and other operational needs.
“This is a historic initiative of getting the magistrate to the roadside. It will help in curbing the high rate of road offences on our roads,” Ministry of Transport principal secretary, Thabo Motoko, said.
The mobile court comes with a section for case hearing, waiting room for presiding magistrate, wi-fi and power output sockets, restroom and refreshments section complete with a fridge and sink among others.
The facility, which is meant to start operating right away, comes with a dedicated team made up of the magistrate, prosecutor, representatives from the Road Fund, the Road Safety, LMPS, LDF, and the traffic commissioner.