HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
MOTHEPU (duly assisted) Applicant
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY (Ministry of Finance) 1st Respondent
ATTORNEY GENERAL 2nd Respondent
Applicant : Mr. Putsoane
Respondents : Mr. Masoabi
for Judgment on Costs
by the Honourable Mr. Justice T. Monapathi on the 14th day of June
a short argument over award of the costs of the application. Award of
costs is generally in the discretion of the Court.
matter had been settled in all except the issue of costs. Mr.
Putsoane for Applicant sought for an order for costs on an Attorney
and Client Scale as claimed in the notice of motion. The claimed
award of costs-was opposed by
decided that costs on the ordinary scale should be paid by
Respondents. There had been no good reason why costs should be paid
on a scale higher than the ordinary scale. There was no exceptional
circumstances or conduct on the part of the Respondents which
required that costs should be paid on a higher or punitive scale. See
generally The Civil Practice of the Supreme Court of South Africa,
Van Winsen et al, 4th Edition, Chapter 36.
amicable settlement which was reached by the parties in effect
allowed Applicant's claim. It effectively meant that Applicant has
succeeded in her claim. There was no reason why the principle that
costs follow the event and that the successful party gets his costs
should be departed from. See The Civil Practice of the Supreme Court
of South Africa (supra) page 704-705, " A,B(1)".
Even if I
was required to make my decision on material available to me I need
not have resorted to any further or extraneous evidence but to look
at the material before me. (See Gans v Society For The Prevention of
Cruelty To Animals 1962(4) SA 543 AD at 545 G-H) The material is the
facts and legal propositions made in the papers before me.
material before me shows that the Applicant who worked at the
Department of Customs and Excise, had been interdicted and was on
half-pay since the 31st May 1996. Excepting for pray 4 below
Applicant's affidavit showed that she was entitled to an order of
Court in the following terms:
Declaring the interdiction of the Applicant issued on the 10th
January 1996 to have lapsed, and to be of no legal force or effect.
Directing 1st Respondent to pay Applicant's outstanding monthly
salaries from the date of interdiction to the date of judgment.
Delay Applicant's suspension with effect from 31st May 1996 to be
invalid and without legal force or effect.
That 1st Respondent pay costs herein on attorney and client scale.
in discharging the dispute would demonstrate an unconscionable and
callous disregard of Applicant's rights and lack of fair play. It was
not because the Respondents were being let off the hook for the
extreme delay in dealing with Applicant's disciplinary matter.
Unfortunately it is a common occurrence.
deplorable enough. I however need not have to award a special order
I gave no thought to the prejudice that Applicant said she suffered
as a result. Nor should there have been an explanation why Applicant
did not approach the Courts when her obvious plight was continuing
for such a long time. The matter had been amicably settled.
however nothing in the conduct of the litigation that persuaded me to
order costs on a higher scale against the Respondents . Respondents
resolved that the matter be settled. That was useful and desirable.
costs to the Applicant on the ordinary scale on the 27th May 2002.
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