Khasu appeals High Court ruling
ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader Tlali Khasu has appealed the High Court’s decision to uphold his suspension from the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in the Court of Appeal.
In his appeal, Mr Khasu argues High Court judge Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi “erred and misdirected himself” in upholding his suspension by ABC leader and former premier Thomas Thabane.
This was after Dr Thabane wrote a letter to Mr Khasu on 17 September 2016 suspending him from the ABC NEC for three months for allegedly castigating the former premier over a local radio station.
According to court papers, the letter was endorsed by the NEC on 18 September 2016 during a meeting held in Ficksburg, South Africa. Thereafter, Mr Khasu was called into the meeting hall where he was given the letter and asked to comment on it.
Court papers also state that Mr Khasu commented on the letter by saying the majority of Basotho expected the party to remain united so they would be ready to take over the government which appeared shaky.
However, on 23 September 2016, Mr Khasu filed an urgent High Court application challenging the suspension on the grounds that he was not afforded a hearing before the decision to suspend him was reached.
In his ruling, Justice Monaphathi dismissed his claim on the grounds Mr Khasu was given an opportunity to comment on the suspension letter.
The judge also ruled there was no irregularity committed in his suspension as both Dr Thabane and the NEC followed the party’s constitution.
But in the appeal lodged on Wednesday, Mr Khasu argues Justice Monaphathi erred and misdirected himself for dismissing his application. The respondents are Dr Thabane, ABC’s NEC and ABC.
In papers filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati, Mr Khasu argues: “The learned judge a quo erred and thus committed a misdirection by dismissing the appellant’s application in the face of clear factual admissions that;
“The rules of natural justice were not followed when appellant was suspended.
“The respondents’ case was that it was not necessary to give appellant a hearing prior his 90 days suspension.”
Mr Khasu also states the judge “erred” in dismissing his application on the basis that the respondents had followed their constitution”.
“. . . it was clear on the facts that:
- The appellant was invited to a meeting at Ficksburg on the 18th of September 2016.
- The letter of appellant’s suspension for 90 days was written on the 17th September 2016 without first giving appellant a hearing.
- The appellant was ordered to remain outside the hall in which his suspension was being deliberated.
- The appellant was served with a letter of suspension after deliberations in which he was not invited to participate.
- The appellant was never requested to state any reasons why he cannot be suspended but rather was asked to comment on the letter of suspension which had been discussed and agreed to by the leader and the executive committee in appellant’s absence.”
Mr Khasu further argues: “The learned judge a quo erred by finding that there was no irregularity in suspending the appellant for 90 days which in fact was a punishment without a hearing.”
However, at the time of going to press, it was not yet clear if Mr Khasu’s appeal would be heard during the second session of the Court of Appeal which starts tomorrow.