Police Service Act, 1998
Act 7 of 1998
- There are multiple commencements:
- [This is the version of this document from 1 July 1998.]
|Part I (section 1–2); Part II, subpart (section 3–4); subpart (section 5–12); subpart, section 13–20, section 23; Part III, subpart (section 24–30); subpart, section 33; Part V, section 53–55; Part VI, section 56–58; Part VII, section 59, section 61–65; Part VIII, section 66, section 71–77, section 84–85||commenced on 1 July 1998 by Legal Notice of 1998.|
|Part II, subpart, section 21–22; Part III, subpart, section 31–32; Part IV (section 34–42); Part V, section 43–52; Part VI (in part); Part VII, section 60; Part VIII, section 67–70, section 78–83||not yet commenced.|
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Police Service Act 1998 and shall come into force on such date as the Minister may; by notice in the Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:"arms" shall have the same meaning as in the International Security (Arms and Ammunition) Act 1966;"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Police appointed under section 5;"the Constitution" means the Constitution of Lesotho;"Cadet officer" means a police officer appointed by virtue of special qualifications or skills;"disciplinary hearing" means a hearing under section 44 or 45;"disciplinary proceedings" means proceedings under Part V of this Act;"district" has the meaning given to it by the Criminal Procedure and evidence Act, 1981;"financial year" means the year beginning on the 1st April and ending on 31st March the following year;"member of the Police Service" means a person attested as a police officer under section 10;"merit" means ability, qualifications, knowledge, skill and aptitude;"Minister" means the Minister of Home Affairs;"offence against discipline" means an offence designated as such in regulations made under section 84;"police officer" means a person appointed under section 7;"the Police Service" means the Lesotho Mounted Police Service;"regulations" means regulations made by the Minister under this Act;"section" means a section of this Act;"senior officer " means an officer of a rank designated as such in regulations made under section 84;"subordinate court" has the meaning given to it by the Subordinate Courts Order 1988.
Part II – Organisation
Maintenance of the Police Service
3. Establishment and functions of Police Authority
4. General functions of police serviceThe police service maintained under section 3 shall be called the Lesotho Mounted Police Service, and it shall be deployed in and throughout Lesotho to uphold the law, to preserve the peace, protect life and property, to detect and prevent crime, to apprehend offenders, bring offenders to justice, and for associated purposes.
Members of the Police Service
5. Appointment and removal of Commissioner
6. Appointment of Deputy CommissionerThe Police Authority shall, after consultation with the Commissioner, appoint a Deputy Commissioner who may exercise the full powers and duties of the Commissioner during any period of temporary absence or incapacity by the Commissioner.
7. Other members of the Police ServiceIn addition to the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner, the Police Service shall comprise such other police officers as may be appointed under this Act; not exceeding such total strength as may be prescribed by the Police Authority.
8. Appointment and promotions
9. Absence of Commissioner and Deputy CommissionerDuring any absence, incapacity or vacancy in the office of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, a senior officer authorised by the Police Authority may exercise all the powers and duties of the Commissioner.
11. Resignation from the Police ServiceA member of the Police Service may resign upon giving one month’s notice in writing to the Commissioner and, on the expiration of his notice, or sooner if the Commisioner so directs, he shall cease to be a police officer.
12. DelegationAny power conferred on the Commissioner by this Act, or any regulations made under this Act, may be exercised by any other member of the Police Service or any civilian appointed under section 33, to the extent that he has been authorized to exercise power by the Commissioner, or by this Act or regulations made under this Act.
13. General functions of the Commissioner
14. Provision of information to the Police AuthorityThe Commissioner shall keep the Police Authority fully informed concerning matters of policy relating to the Police Service and shall furnish the Police Authority with such information as he may reasonably require in respect of any matter relating to the Police Service
15. Objectives for policingBefore the beginning of each financial year the Police Authority shall, after consultation with the Commissioner, determine objectives for the policing of Lesotho for that year.
16. Policing plan
17. Development plan
18. Annual report
19. Reports by Commissioner to the Police Authority
21. Inspector of Police
22. Police Complaints Authority
23. Arrangements for obtaining the views of the public on policing
Part III – Powers and duties
24. General duties of police officers
25. Duty to comply with lawful ordersIt shall be the duty of a police officer to comply with any lawful order of the Commissioner or any other competent officer.
26. Power and duties in respect of fire
27. Duties of confidentialityExcept as provided by this Act, or in the performance of his duties, the exercise of his functions, or when lawfully required to do so by a competent court, no police officer shall disclose to any person any information acquired by him in the course of his duties.
28. Private employmentNo police officer shall, without the consent of the Commissioner, engage in any employment or business whatsoever other than in accordance with his duties under this Act.
29. Power to serve summons, etc.Every police officer shall be authorised to serve or execute any summons, warrant or process directed to him, and any such summons, warrant or process may be served or executed by any other police officer as if it had been directed to him.
30. Saving for other powers and dutiesIn addition to the provisions of this Act, every police officer shall have all the powers, and be subject to all the duties, which are conferred upon his office by any other law or enactment.
Commissioner of Police
31. Power of Commissioner to remove police officers
32. Saving of pension rightsUnless the Police Authority otherwise directs, nothing in section 31 shall affect any right a police officer may have to payment of a pension or gratuity.
Part IV – Finance
34. Establishment of Police Finance Council
35. Proceedings of Council
36. Police grant
37. Use of police grantOn receipt of the police grant the Council shall be responsible for ensuring that it is expended on the maintenance of the Police Service in accordance with the provisions of this Act and any directions of the Police Authority.
38. Police fund
39. Council to account for proper use of police grantThe Council shall account to the Police Authority for the efficient, economic and proper use of the police grant and in securing the economic and efficient utilisation of the resources and assets provided for the maintenance of the Police Service.
41. Additional duties of Council
42. SurchargeWhere the police fund suffers any loss or depletion as a result of failure by the Council, or any member of the Council, to comply with or act consistent with any provisions of this Act or any other law, the Minister of Finance may cause or authorise a surcharge of that person unless he shows that he acted in accordance with the advice of the Attorney-General.
Part V – Discipline
43. Application of this PartWhere a police officer is charged with an offence against discipline the procedures set out in this Part shall apply.
44. Procedure in cases of alleged misconduct of senior officers
45. Procedure in cases of alleged misconduct of subordinate officersWhere the officer charged is not a senior officer there shall be a hearing before a senior officer, not normally deployed within the same district in which the officer charged is deployed, appointed by the Commissioner:Provided that where it appears to the senior officer that by reason of the gravity of the offence or for any other reason, the matter would be dealt with more properly by a Board, the senior officer may defer his hearing of the case and report the facts to the Commissioner who may direct the senior officer to hear the case or may remit it to a hearing before a Board constituted in accordance with section 44(1).
46. Punishment by the Board
47. Punishment by a senior officerSubject to any provision in regulations made under section 84(2) (c), a senior officer conducting a hearing under section 45 shall, on conviction, recommend one or more of the following punishments:
48. Stoppage of pay
49. Procedure at disciplinary hearing
50. Appeal to Police Appeals Tribunal
51. Constitution of the Police Appeals Tribunal
52. Procedure at Police Appeals TribunalExcept as otherwise provided by this Act, the Police Appeals Tribunal shall determine its own procedure.
54. Prosecution of offencesNothing in this Act shall prevent any person from being prosecuted for an offence other than under the powers contained in this Act and, where a police officer has been acquitted of a criminal charge, such acquittal shall not operate as a bar to disciplinary proceedings arising out of the same facts being brought under this Act if such facts also disclose an offence against discipline.
55. Offences committed outside LesothoIf a member of the Police Service does or omits to do any act outside Lesotho, which, if done or omitted in Lesotho, would have constituted a criminal or a disciplinary offence under this Act, it shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act, that such act was done or omitted in Lesotho.
Part VI – Offences
56. Mutiny, desertion, etc.
57. Causing disaffectionAny person who causes, or attempts to cause, or does any act calculated to cause, disaffection amongst the members of the Police Service or induces or attempts to induce, or does any act calculated to induce, any member of the Police Service to withhold his services, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine of M5,000, or to both.
58. General offences in relation to the policeAny person who—
Part VII – Police assistants and police volunteers
59. Police assistants
60. Police volunteers
61. Powers of police assistants and police volunteers
62. Attestation of police assistants and police volunteersEvery person appointed under sections 59 and 60 shall be attested by making a declaration before the senior police officer in the district, in the form set out in Schedule 2.
63. Equipment, etc. for use by police assistants and police volunteers
64. Resignation of police assistants and police volunteersA person appointed under this Part may resign from his office by giving notice in writing to the Commissioner.
65. Compensation for death and injury of police assistants and volunteers
Part VIII – Miscellaneous
66. Prohibition on membership of political parties and trade unions
67. Establishment of Police Negotiating Council
68. Objects of the Police Negotiating CouncilThe objects of the Police Negotiating Council shall be to consider questions relating to the terms and conditions of service of members of the Police Service and to establish procedures for dealing with any grievances of members of the Police Service.
69. Consultation with the Police Negotiating CouncilBefore making regulations under section 84 the Police Authority shall consult the Police Negotiating Council and shall take into account any representations it may make.
70. Establishment and functions of the Training Advisory Board
71. Assistance to Defence Force
72. Collaboration arrangementsIf it appears to the Commissioner that any police functions can be more efficiently or effectively discharged by members of the Police Service acting jointly with some other body or bodies, either within or outside Lesotho, he may, with the consent of the Police Authority, enter into arrangements for the joint discharge of those functions.
73. Aid to police forces ouside Lesotho
74. Attachment of propertyNo article whatsoever which has been supplied to any police officer, police assistant or police volunteer for the execution of his duty shall be seized or attached under any writ of execution nor shall the same pass under any order made for the sequestration of the estate of any such officer.
75. Assignment of payNo police officer or police assistant shall, without the consent of the Commissioner, assign the whole or any part of any pay, gratuity or allowances payable under this Act.
76. Liability for wrongful acts of police officers
77. Limitation of actionsAny civil action against the Crown or persons acting in pursuance of this Act or the regulations made thereunder, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in pursuance thereof, shall be commenced within six months next after the cause of action arises, and notice in writing of any civil action and of the substance thereof shall be given to the defendant at least two months before the commencement of the said action;Provided that the court may, for good cause shown, proof of which shall lie upon the applicant, extend the said period of six months.
78. Police Rewards and Fines Fund
79. Lost property
80. Apportionment of proceeds of saleSo much of the proceeds of sale of any lost property as the Commissioner may direct, if no claim to it has been made within six months of the sale, may be apportioned to the finder.
81. Hire of police officers for private functionsMembers of the Police Service may, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be hired to attend and keep order or provide secrurity at private functions or premises at fees to be determined by the Commissioner and the fees in respect of the hire of police officers for private functions shall be paid into the police fund.
82. Hire of Police Band
83. Supply of copies of police reports, etc.
85. Repeals, savings transitional and consequential provisions
History of this document
01 July 1998 this version
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 18
- Commissioner of Police v Ramphielo (C of A (CIV) 50 of 2019)  LSCA 51 (1 November 2019)
- Khabanyane v Commissioner of Police and Others (CIV/T/254/2016)  LSHC 211 (7 March 2023)
- Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Others v Commissioner of Police and Others (CIV/APN 405 of 2011)  LSHC 127 (29 August 2011)
- Maburung v Commissioner of Police & Another (CIV/APN/ 349 of 1)  LSCA 56 (22 August 2002)
- Makateng v Commissioner of Police and Another (CIV/APN 43 of 2005)  LSHC 75 (1 August 2012)
- Malothoane v Commissioner of Police and Another (C of A (CIV) 18 of 9)  LSCA 21 (23 October 2009)
- Minister of Home Affairs and Others v Mofolo (CIV/APN/418/04; C of A (CIV) 2/05)  LSCA 12 (20 April 2005)
- Mofokeng v Commissioner of Police (CIV/APN 375 of 2020)  LSHC 40 (25 October 2021)
- Ntsu Nts'onyane v Motlatsi Thejane and Others (LC/APN 2013)  LSHC 11 (17 March 2017)
- Phaila v Director of Public Prosecution (CONSTITUTIONAL CASE 24 of 2018)  LSHC 7 (18 March 2021)
- Phala v The Commissioner of Police (CIV/APN 374 of 17)  LSHC 16 (1 September 2019)
- Ramahloko v Commissioner of Police and Another (C of A (CIV) 11 of 8)  LSCA 32 (17 October 2008)
- Ramphielo v Commissioner of Police (CIV/APN 93 of 18)  LSHC 26 (8 November 2018)
- Ratia v Rantso and Another (CRI/REV 23 of 2019)  LSHC 13 (11 September 2019)
- Sebophe v Compol (C of A (CIV) 6 of 2019)  LSCA 2 (31 May 2019)
- Setsomi v Lesotho Police Staff Association (C of A (CIV) 55 of 2017)  LSCA 20 (7 December 2018)
- Thabo Shale v COMPOL and Another (CIV/APN 75 of 2013)  LSHC 33 (13 March 2013)
- Tjamela v Commissioner of Police (CIV/APN 167 of 20)  LSHC 23 (15 October 2020)