Mosisili’s son appeals dismissal
FORMER Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s son, Rethabile Mosisili, has lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal against last month’s High Court judgement which dismissed his petition against the government’s decision to nullify his “dubious” appointment as Lesotho’s chief delegate to the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC).
High Court judge Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi on 11 October, 2017 dismissed Mr Mosisili’s application against his dismissal from the LHWP and ordered him to pay costs of the suit.
However, Mr Mosisili has since lodged an appeal with the apex court, arguing that Justice Monaphathi misdirected himself by dealing with the merits of his case instead of the procedure that government followed in nullifying his appointment to the LHWC.
“The learned judge in the court a quo misdirected himself in dealing with the merits of the recall instead of the process leading to the recall, thereby misinterpreting the nature of review proceedings because in review proceedings the correctness of the decision is not in issue,” part of Mr Mosisili’s appeal states.
“The learned judge in the court a quo erred and misdirected himself in dismissing the application as the evidence reveals that the appellant was not granted a prior hearing, hence the review and conflated it with the requirements of an interdict, holding that the appellant did not have a clear right.”
Mr Mosisili was appointed chief delegate to the Water Commission on 1 April this year on secondment by the previous government from the Ministry of Water Affairs where he was the deputy Principal Secretary.
His appointment was made when his father Dr Mosisili was premier, a position the latter lost after the 3 June 2017 elections which ushered in a new four party coalition government headed by All Basotho Convention leader, Thomas Thabane.
The new government reviewed Mr Mosisili’s appointment and subsequently reversed it in a letter they wrote to him on 24 July this year.
This prompted Mr Mosisili to lodge an urgent High Court application seeking the nullification of the cancellation of his appointment to the LHWC- an application that was dismissed by Justice Monaphathi.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Court of Appeal will have its second session this year given the current situation where the president of the court, Justice Kananelo Mosito, has not yet been sworn in.
Justice Mosito, who was re-appointed to the hot seat in August this year, was first appointed Court of Appeal president in January 2015. He succeeded Justice Michael Ramodibedi who had also resigned after losing a protracted legal battle to stop his impeachment for alleged abuse of office.
Despite his re-appointment this year, Justice Mosito is yet to be sworn in after his reappointment was contested by four lawyers who filed a constitutional appeal before the Constitutional Court arguing that he could not be reappointed because he was impeached on the basis of the findings of a three-member tribunal that was appointed to investigate him for allegedly failing to pay income tax between 1996 and 2014.
The tribunal was appointed by King Letsie III in February 2016, on the advice of then premier Pakalitha Mosisili.
It comprised of Chairperson, Justice Frederik Daniel Jacobus Brand, Justice Noel Victor Hurt, and Justice John Godfrey Foxcroft all from South Africa. The tribunal completed its proceedings on 20 October, 2016 and submitted its report to King Letsie III.
Justice Mosito resigned on 13 December 2016 before a verdict was announced on his fate, citing alleged persecution by Dr Mosisili and Attorney-General Tšokolo Makhethe King’s Counsel (KC).
However, the tribunal’s findings have since been set aside by the High Court, a move which potentially clears the way for Justice Mosito to be sworn in.