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Metsing back in the dock



Court of Appeal announces date for deputy premier’s corruption case.

Tefo Tefo

Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing’s bid to block investigations into his banking details is one of 24 cases to be heard during the Appeal Court’s second session of the year set for next month.

The Constitutional Court on 25 February this year threw out Mr Metsing’s application through which he wanted it to declare as unlawful, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO)’s investigations into his finances.

The deputy premier noted in his court papers the investigation into his Standard Lesotho Bank and Nedbank Lesotho accounts was a violation of his right to privacy as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Mr Metsing also alleged the probe was motivated by “an ulterior motive” because at some stage, unrelated charges were brought against him and later withdrawn.

However, the DCEO denied any sinister motive when obtaining the bank statements as this was part of ongoing investigations into his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of public funds.

In dismissing the application, the Constitutional Court noted: “There was information and based on that information the inquiry was started. The motive is irrelevant.”

But Mr Metsing challenged the ruling and the Court of Appeal is set to hear the case on 19 October after its second session opens on 12 October.

Another high-profile case to be heard during the forthcoming session is that of infighting in the Basotho National Party (BNP). The former ruling party has challenged a High Court judgment which rejected its decision to indefinitely suspend Secretary General Lesojane Leuta.

The BNP suspended Mr Leuta on 26 February this year for allegedly submitting an unauthorised list of the party’s candidates for Proportional Representation (PR) seats in parliament for the 28 February 2015 snap elections.

The High Court on 20 April ruled it was wrong for the BNP to suspend Mr Leuta, leading to the appeal scheduled for 13 October.

Meanwhile, the forthcoming Court of Appeal session is set to hear three criminal and 22 civil cases, while the first sitting adjudicated 32 civil and six criminal cases.



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