HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
LIPHOLO 1st Applicant
MKWANAZI 2nd Applicant
MANGIZE 3rd Applicant
by the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molai on the 15th day of April. 1992.
January, 1992, the Applicants, who are detained in custody pending a
trial involving two counts of robbery, filed, with the
the High Court, a notice of motion in which they moved the court for
an order releasing them on bail.
notice of motion, together with the founding affidavits, was on the
same day 3rd January, 1992 duly served upon the Respondent.
January, 1992, the parties appeared before the court which was
verbally informed by Miss Morojele, counsel for the Respondent,
there was intention
the granting of the order releasing the applicants on bail. The court
then postponed the matter to 10th February, 1992
for arguments with a
directive that if he really wished to oppose the granting of the
order the Respondent should have filed the
opposing papers by the
13th January, 1992.
significant that when, on 10th February, 1992, the matter came for
arguments the Respondent was no longer represented by Miss
Mr, Semoko appeared as counsel for the Respondent. Neither notice of
intention to oppose the granting of the order releasing
applicants on bail nor answering affidavit had been filed by the
Respondent or his representative. Only D/W/O Monyane who claimed
be the Chief Investigating Officer had filed an opposing affidavit in
which he averred that if released on bail the applicants
certainly abscond and fail to stand their trial.
support of bis averments D/W/O Monyane pointed out that he knew for a
fact that 1st applicant possessed two local passports viz.
number M017294 issued on 14th August, 1991 in the names of Richard
Lebohang Ntlele and passport number M050081 issued
on 10th October,
1991 in the names of Ntsane Richard Lipholo. 1st applicant might be
having many more passports and therefore likely
to abscond out of the
country if released on bail. As regards the 2nd and the 3rd
they had been evading arrest from September up to December, 1991 when
they were eventually arrested and remanded in
custody pending their
fairness to him, Mr. Semoko conceded that, in as much as the
Respondent did not file either the notice of intention to oppose
the answering affidavit, there was irregularity in the filing of the
aware that both Miss Morojele and Mr. Semoko are relatively new
arrivals in the office of the Respondent. The need for an experienced
counsel to assist them in the handling of matters as important as the
present application cannot, therefore, be overemphasized.
as it may, in their affidavits, the applicants averred that they were
citizens of Lesotho and holders of valid passports.
According to 1st
Applicant passport Number M017294 belonged to a cousin of his,
Richard Lebohang Ntlele, and not to him. He denied,
averment that he was in possession of more than one local passports.
The 2nd and the 3rd applicants also denied
the averment that they had
been evading arrest. Indeed, the 3rd applicant averred that he was
arrested in December, 1991 at his
place of work at Maputsoe in the
district of Leribe.
applicants conceded that they had been arrested in December, 1991
albeit on false allegations that they had committed two counts
robbery. They were, therefore, prepared to abide by whatever
conditions might be imposed by the court in releasing them on bail
and stand trial so as to be able to prove their innocence.
agree with Mofokeng J. In Soola v. Director of Public Prosecutions
1981 (2) LLR 277 where at page 280 the learned judge
had this to say:
"The objection by the Director of Public Prosecutions must be
carefully considered by the court and not lightly discarded;
all he is a responsible officer charged with onerous duties."
in the present case, the Respondent, who as it has already been
stated is the Director of Public Prosecutions, did not
necessary to file either notice to oppose bail or answering affidavit
in which he, at least, associated himself as it is,
the practice, with the averments contained in the affidavit deposed
to by the investigating police officer. In
short, the Respondent has
simply not made any objection which must be carefully considered and
not lightly discarded by the court.
circumstances, I am of the view that there would be no valid
justification in denying the applicants bail which
accordingly allowed subject to the following conditions:
must pay M100 cash deposit.
his passport to the police
to the nearest police station (Maputsoe police station in respect of
1st and 2nd applicants and Hlotse Police station in
respect of the
3rd applicant) on every Saturday of the week at or before 12 noon.
must not interfere with crown witnesses.
must attend remands and stand their trial.
must find an independent person to stand him surety in the amount of
arrangements to pay the M100 deposit and find surety in the amount of
M200 must be made at the magistrate court and not at the
the Registrar of the High Court.
Applicant Mr. Teele
Respondent: Miss Morojele.
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