Mosisili son’s dismissal challenge postponed
THE High Court has postponed to Wednesday this week a case in which former premier Pakalitha Mosisili’s son, Rethabile Mosisili, is challenging his removal from the influential post of chief delegate for the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC).
High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, postponed the case on Thursday citing his engagement in an ongoing criminal case.
In the case, Mr Mosisili wants the High Court to order his reinstatement as Lesotho’s LHWC chief delegate – a position he had occupied for about three months. He also argues that the government recalled him without even affording him a hearing.
The principal secretary in the Ministry of Water, the Highlands Water Commission, Public Service Commission and the attorney-general are cited as first to fourth respondents respectively.
Mr Mosisili, who was controversially appointed to the post in April this year, was sent back to his previous position as deputy principal secretary (PS) in the Water Affairs ministry.
In a 24 July 2017 letter recalling Mr Mosisili from the influential post, the government stated that his appointment had not been approved by the Public Service Commission and was thus null and void.
Part of the letter reads: “Please be informed that despite several attempts to get your secondment approved, the Public service Commission (PSC) has still not approved it.
“The government has therefore found it fitting to recall you back from Lesotho Highlands Water Commission; and you are to revert to your substantive position of the Deputy Principal Secretary, in the Ministry of Water, with effect from 24th July 2017.”
The LHWC is the largest infrastructure partnership between the Lesotho and South African governments, and consists of three delegates from each of the two nations. The commission is tasked with implementing the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) — a multiphase initiative comprising several dams and tunnels in Lesotho and South Africa.
The LHWC is accountable to the two governments for the overall implementation of the LHWP. It advises, monitors and has approval powers on activities of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority and the operations and maintenance function of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, the two authorities charged with the implementation of the LHWP in Lesotho and South Africa respectively.
It is currently tasked with overseeing the estimated M26 billion second phase of the LHWP aimed at alleviating South Africa’s acute fresh water shortages.