HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
MOTLALENTOA 1st Respondent
MOTLALENTOA 2nd Respondent
by the Honourable Mr. justice J.L. Kheola on the 4th day of March.
14th November, 1991 I delivered an impromptu judgment committing both
respondents to prison for contempt of court.
I went on
my annual leave on the 13th December, 1991 and returned on the 31st
January, 1992. I was informed by the Registrar that
want a written judgment because they want to appeal.
application the applicant sought an order in the following terms:
the rules prescribed for service be dispensed with on the basis of
the urgency of this application.
a Rule Nisi issue returnable on the date and time to be determined
by this Honourable Court calling upon the respondents
herein to show
cause if any.
Respondents shall not be arrested by the Morija Police and
committed to prison for contempt of Court,
Respondents shall not be ordered to desist and\or refrain from
interfering with the applicant's rights to the said field.
Applicant shall not be permitted to harvest the said field.
Respondents shall not be ordered to pay costs of this application.
Honourable Court shall not grant applicant such further and\or
alternative relief as it may deem fit.
prayer 2(a) operate with immediate effect as an interim order.
founding affidavit the applicant avers that he was the respondent in
CIV\APN\18\87 and the first respondent in the present
the appellant. The High Court passed judgment in the applicant's
favour, that the disputed land was his and that
the first respondent
was therefore unlawfully ploughing and cultivating it and that they
should be arrested by the Morija police
and be committed to prison
for contempt of court.
applicant avers as follows in paragraph 6 of his affidavit:
"I verily aver that the 1st and 2nd respondents are still
said field inspite of the judgment of the said court."
that the 2nd respondent was also ordered not to cultivate the said
field and has disobeyed the said judgment delivered
by the Lesotho
Court of Appeal (C. of A. (CIV) 20 OF 1987). During the ploughing
season of 1991 the respondents did prevent him
from using the said
land and they have grown maize crop.
answering affidavit the first respondent avers as follows in
paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7:
is not correct that this Honourable Court decided in favour of
Applicant. What this Honourable Court did was to confirm the
decision of the Acting Principal which instructed Chief Leutsoa to
allocate and confirm Applicant on this field. Chief Leutsoa
to-date not done so. In any event Chief Leutsoa would not allocate
and confirm Applicant on this field. It is the Land Allocating
Committee which should allocate land and it is not bound to act in
accordance with the instructions of the Acting Principal Chief.
the premises Applicant has not been allocated the field and has no
title thereto for the reasons aforesaid.
admit that I am still cultivating the field in question. I have been
ploughing it even before Applicant took me to Court initially.
Applicant has not been allocated the field he cannot complain
about my ploughing of the field which is not his. Until he is so
allocated he has no rights over the same. It is only the chief
the Land Allocating Committee which may complain. They have to-date
not done so. At the very least Applicant should have joined
deny the contents hereof, a proper reading of this judgment clearly
indicates that it dealt with the question of the procedure
rule 52 of the rules of court.
have never prevented Applicant from ploughing this field. I have to
mention however that he will have the right to cultivate
only after he has been duly allocated the same under the law. He has
not been so allocated. He has as a result no right
to the said
field. My allocation has not been declared invalid. It could not be
so declared without joining the Land Allocating
Committee in such
was an appeal from the judgment of the learned Judicial Commissioner
delivered on the 25th October, 1985. He had set
aside the judgment of
Matsieng Central Court and reinstated the judgment of Matsieng Local
Court which had awarded the land in
question to the present
applicant. At the end of the day the appeal was dismissed with costs.
present respondents are aware of this judgment but want to give their
own interpretation of that judgment. I am surprised that
attorney also pretends that the judgment is not clear. The appeal by
the respondents, against a judgment of the Judicial
which was against them, was dismissed. The respondents have not
appealed against the
of this Court but they are continuing to defy the order of this Court
by using the land in question and giving their own
a very simple and straightforward judgment.
will not allow them to get aware with it. The second respondent has
not even filed an opposing affidavit to try to exonerate
applicant has averred that the second respondent and the first
respondent, who are husband and wife, are continuing
to use the land
knowing very well that the appeal they tool against the judgment of
the learned Judicial Commissioner was dismissed.
They know well that
they have not appealed against that judgment which was delivered on
the 16th July, 1988. I am most surprised
that their attorney who is
an officer of this Court drew an affidavit in which the first
respondent deliberately and maliciously
gives a wrong interpretation
of a very simple judgment. Mr. Nathane ought to have advised his
clients better. They are obviously
involved in delaying tactics.
contempt of court to disobey an order of a competent court (See
'Matau Makhetha v. Rex 1975 L.L.R. 431; Section 15 (a) of
Local Courts Proclamation No.62 of 1938).
result the application was granted in terms of prayers (a), (b), (c)
and (e). The respondents were committed to prison for
each for contempt of court.
Applicant - Mr. Maqutu
Respondents - Mr. Nathane.
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