MASERU — Law Society President Zwelakhe Mda says he did not attend the official opening of the High Court on Tuesday because he thought it was a “waste of time”.
Mda said his major gripe is that the law society has been refused permission to speak at previous High Court official opening ceremonies.
“Why should I attend when the event does not create an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss issues? There is really no purpose in attending,” Mda said.
He said their previous request to Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla to be allowed to address the official opening ceremony has been rejected.
A few days before the ceremony the Law Society wrote to the Registrar of the High Court and Court of Appeal ‘Mathato Sekoai and requested to be included in the programme.
“I am instructed by the council to convey its humble request to participate meaningfully in the ceremony by being given a slot on the programme to address the audience and present its perspective on the state of the administration of justice in our beloved Kingdom,” Advocate Ts’eliso Mokoko, the secretary of the Law Society wrote to Sekoai.
The letter reached the registrar on January 21.
Sekoai then responded on January 24 promising that the matter “is being given attention”.
Mda said the Law Society never heard from Sekoai again concerning the request.
But he said he was not surprised because the chief justice once told the Law Society that only him was supposed to speak at the official opening of the High Court.
“He said the official opening was like that of parliament where only the king speaks,” Mda said.
“We believe that as a major stakeholder in this country we should be given a platform to talk about the issues affecting the judiciary.”
He said Justice Lebone Kheola, the previous chief justice before Justice Lehohla, had indicated that he had no problems with the law society addressing the official opening ceremony.
Things changed when Justice Lehohla came in, he said.