FORMER Defence and National Security minister, Tšeliso Mokhosi and former army commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli will have to wait longer to know whether or not their application for the nullification of the appointment of foreign judges to preside over their criminal trials succeeds.
It had been expected that the Constitutional Court would deliver judgement on 12 April 2019 but this was not be and one of the applicants’ lawyers, Advocate Napo Mafaesa, told the Sunday Express that judgement had been postponed to a date that it is yet to be announced.
He said the announcement of the verdict was postponed to enable the judges to finish writing the judgement.
“We have been told that the three judges have not yet completed writing the judgement therefore we would have to return to court sometime next week (this week),” Adv Mafaesa said.
Mr Mokhosi, Lt-Gen Kamoli and 14 others filed an urgent court application on 15 February 2019 seeking the nullification of the recruitment of foreign judges to preside over theirs and other cases involving serving and former members of the security agencies.
The other 14 applicants are Major Pitso Ramoepane, Thabo Tšukulu, Mothibeli Mofolo, Mabitle Matona, Rapele Mphaki, Pitso Ramoepana, Lekhooa Moepi, Mahlele Moeletsi, Mahlomola Makhoali, Nthatakane Motanyane, Motšoane Machai, Liphapang Sefako, Nemase Faso, Tieho Tikiso and Litekanyo Nyakane.
They want the appointment of the foreign judges by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to be nullified on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
The case was heard from 27 to 29 March 2019 by Justices Thamsanqa Nomngcongo (presiding judge), Lebohang Molete and Moroke Mokesi.
The government wants the foreign judges to try criminal cases involving politicians as well as past and serving members of the security agencies. Lt-Gen Kamoli faces a murder charge stemming from the 30 August 2014 killing of Police Sub-Inspector, Mokheseng Ramahloko.
Sub-Inspector Ramahloko was shot and killed by soldiers during the attempted coup of 30 August 2014 at the police headquarters in Maseru. The soldiers who allegedly acted on the instructions of the then army commander, Lt-Gen Kamoli, also raided several other police stations in Maseru and seized an assortment of weapons.
Lt-Gen Kamoli also faces 14 counts of attempted murder in connection with the 27 January 2014 simultaneous bombings of the Moshoeshoe II homes of First Lady Maesaiah Thabane and the Ha-Abia residence of former police commissioner, Khothatso Tšooana.
He is charged alongside Major Ramoepane, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Sergeant Heqoa Malefane and Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko.
Major Ramoepane faces a separate murder charge in connection with the 5 September 2017 assassination of army commander Lt-Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Mr Mokhosi has been charged with the murder of Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng. He is charged along with former police commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa and four other police officers.
The other officers are Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Superintendent Mothibeli Mofolo, Inspector Mabitle Matona and Police Constable Haleokoe Taasoane who are all currently on suspension from the police service.
Messrs Mokhosi and Letsoepa are in exile while the four officers are detained at the Maseru Maximum Security Prison.
There are also 10 soldiers who stand accused of murdering Lekhoele Noko, Molise Pakela and Khothatso Makibinyane at Setibing, Maseru on 16 May 2017 and dumping their bodies in the Mohale Dam.
The 10 soldiers are Brigadier Rapele Mphaki, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Captain Mahlehle Moeletsi, Lance Corporal Mahlomola Makhoali, Private Nthatakane Motanyane, Motšoane Machai, Tieho Tikiso, Pitso Ramoepana, Liphapang Sefako and Nemase Faso.
The soldiers allegedly kidnapped and murdered the three men after the trio had just been released from police custody where they were detained in connection with a shooting incident that occurred at the Maseru border gate on 13 May 2017.