IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the Appeal
SAMUEL RAMOSELI Appellant
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M.P. Mofokeng on
the 26th day of March, 1981.
The appeal in this matter has already been upheld and
the conviction and sentence set aside. I now give my reasons for
The appellant will simply be referred to in this
judgment, as accused No.6. He was charged, together with a number of
boys of varying
ages, with the crime of malicious injury to property
it being alleged that they wrongfully and intentionally and
or damaged three (3) class rooms and one (1)
staff room the property of the Lesotho Government by setting them on
the intention to injure some of the staff teachers."
Twenty-eight accused pleaded not guilty. Eleven accused were found
guilty and discharged. Accused No.6 is the only who appealled
against his conviction and sentence. All other convicted accused
have served their sentences in the sense that they have received the
various number of lashes they had been ordered to receive.
The facts are briefly that the general body of students
were dissatisfied with the teaching conditions at the school. They
have teachers to lecture in certain subjects.
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The students, who were particularly vocal, were those
who were due to write external examinations at the end of the year.
mostly those due to write the Junior Certificate
Examination - commonly referred to as Form 'C'. However, accused
No.6 was in standard
8 - commonly referred to as Form "B".
The staff room was invaded by a number of students and many items
such as cups were
broken. Classrooms were also sot on fire. There
was general chaos.
The real issue in this appeal is one of identity.
Accused No.6 was convicted on the evidence of a single witness.
That, in itself,
already indicates the need that his evidence ought
to be approached with great caution. The witness pointed out accused
Court and yet never mentioned or included his name among
those who wore present during the attack. I may mention that this
did the same thing with some of the accused. For an example
the cross-examination went like this in connection with the
identity of another accused:
"Q. Accused Paul Mokhethi (accused 4) will deny
that he broke cups and that he had a stick?
A. He would be wrong. Q. Do you know him?
A. I cannot point him out".
But he had implicated this person he did not even know.
It was finally brought home to him:
"Q. Did you point out these people at anidentification parade?
It is no use for a witness to try and identify, for the
first time, accused persons who are standing in the dock.
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This type of identification will yield the results as
shown above. Indeed, it is easy for a witness to say of an accused
in the dock: "It's him." Look him up for
a moment or two and name a perculiarity.' It has been repeatedly
said in circumstances
such as existed in the present case, that enidentification parade should have been held. (See S. v. Xoswa
& Others. 1965 (1) S.A. 267 (ft) ).
The evidence on which the accused was convicted was of a
most unsatisfactory nature and I entirely agreed with Miss Surtie,
for the Crown, who did not support the conviction in this
It has taken this appeal three (3) years to come to the
High Court. There are numerous decisions of this Court on this
appellant has a right to expeditious hearing of his
appeal. It is a right which nobody (least of all a junior clerk) can
and anybody who does so, does it at his peril. But above
all, a denial of this fundamental right is in itself a denial of
All I can say is that those responsible for this shameful
act will not get away with it.
Appeal deposit to be refunded to the appellant.
M.P. MOFOKENG JUDGE
For Appellant : Mr. Ramolibeli For Respondent :
African Law (AfricanLII)
Ghana Law (GhaLII)
Laws of South Africa (Legislation)
Lesotho Law (LesLII)
Liberian Law (LiberLII)
Malawian Law (MalawiLII)
Namibian Law (NamibLII)
Nigerian Law (NigeriaLII)
Sierra Leone Law (SierraLII)
South African Law (SAFLII)
Seychelles Law (SeyLII)
Swaziland Law (SwaziLII)
Tanzania Law (TanzLII)
Ugandan Law (ULII)
Zambian Law (ZamLII)
Zimbabwean Law (ZimLII)
Commonwealth Countries' Law
LII of India
United States Law