HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
NTSONYANA MATELA Applicant
HLAKAMETSA NTLOBO Respondent
by the Hon. Chief Justice Mr. Justice T.S Cotran on the 6th day or
an application for leave to appeal to the High Court in terms of the
proviso to s.28(3) of the Central and Local Courts
(Vol.X Laws of Lesotho p.193) from the Judgment of the Judicial
Commissioner (delivered, so it seems, on 22nd September
refused to grant leave to appeal on the ground that the case was not
one fit for appeal
parties are both chiefs. The respondent and original plaintiff,
claimed a plot of land from the appellant and original defendant.
shall henceforth refer to the parties as plaintiff and defendant
Defendant alleged that the dispute between him and the plaintiff
been previously resolved by Court action which ended in his favour.
This matter was tried as a preliminary issue The defendant
unsuccessful in proving his allegation The case then proceeded in the
usual manner and the trial Court found as a fact
the field had reverted to the chieftainship which is the plaintiff's
defendant was never allocated the field but that
had ploughed it and planted it for a "long" time.
Court however found, as a matter of law, that this "long"
time entitled him to keep the land until he was deprived
according to law.
the Central Court nor the Judicial Commissioner accepted this
reasoning and I do not really blame them The crux of the matter
that the dispute in essence was a dispute about chieftainship (or
headmanship) boundaries. In Lesotho a person cannot succeed
he managed illegally to hold on to land for a few years.
learned Judicial Commissioner had gone through all the papers
thoroughly and in my view had come to the right conclusion.
no prospects of success in this appeal Leave to appeal is refused
Applicant Mr. Phakoane
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