Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

. . . Maphalla breathes fire, lambasts High Court decision

Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Lesotho Workers Party (LWP) deputy leader Sello Maphalla yesterday criticised the High Court for dismissing their urgent application challenging the constitutionality of the government.
“We approach courts of law because we want them to interpret the law and provide solutions,” Maphalla said.
“I don’t know how one determines and weighs issues that are urgent against those which are not.”
Maphalla was speaking a day after High Court Judge Justice Lebohang Molete ruled that an application to challenge the constitutionality of the Democratic Congress (DC) government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was not urgent.
The DC is a splinter party of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) that assumed power on February 28.
Maphalla and three other opposition politicians on Thursday filed the urgent application arguing the new government was unconstitutional.
Maphalla told the Sunday Express yesterday that the decision by the High Court to regard the case as a “non-urgent matter” could plunge Lesotho into a political crisis.
“What the court does not realise is that this is a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode. When you come across a time bomb, you have to diffuse it before it explodes in your face,” Maphalla said.
“But the court seems to be ignorant of the state of affairs. They showed a similar attitude in the 1970s with the Basotho National Party government.”
The courts also turned a blind eye to the events leading to the 1998 political riots as well as the 2007 impasse over the allocation proportional representation seats in parliament, Maphalla said.
“Through it all, the courts were turning a blind eye to what was happening but seemed comfortable sweeping things under the carpet,” Maphalla said.This time around we can’t afford to maintain silence and pretend everything is fine when in actual fact it’s not.”
He said the events of February 28 and 29 in parliament had been interpreted differently by people with their own personal interests.
“But at the end of the day, you see people who are saying ‘let’s just sweep the dirt under the carpet and hope all will turn out well,” Maphalla said.
“But for those of us (the opposition) we want to see justice being delivered because delaying it will only result in problems.”
He said there was a perception among people he spoke to on Friday that the courts would not “see the importance of our case”.“What does this say? It can be seen as an indication that people are losing confidence in our courts of law. No wonder many take the law into their own hands,” Maphalla said.
Maphalla said the decision by the High Court to compel them to follow the ordinary route with their application made him suspicious that “someone is trying to buy time”.
“If these people (government) are buying time so that we end up being victimised, we’ll simply have to strangle and abduct one another. Today is not yesterday,” Maphalla said.
“The downside is that the retaliation will no doubt plunge this country into a raging fire”.

Comments are closed.