IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the Appeal
FUSI SEQOKO Appellant
MOTSOALELI MAPOTA Respondent
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M. P. Mofokeng on the
20th day of June, 1983.
This is an appeal from the Judicial Commissioner's
Court. It had gone the usual rounds and I- shall not repeat
what happened in each Court. When granting the
certificate to the appellant the reason for so doing was expressed as
"Whether the church having been lawfully usingland
since 1912, it could when that right isterminated be terminated
in the way the churchin this case was terminated i.e. without
propernotice of deprivation etc."
But who were the parties before Court? They were simply
two people, namely Motsoaleli Mapota (now Respondent) and Fusi Seqoka
Appellant). They were then plaintiff and defendant respectively
and I shall keep that appellation in this judgement.
What was the nature of the dispute? It is put simply (as
always) thus "Land of Evangelical Church which respondent (i.e.
ploughed without the consent of the plaintiff." This
immediately given the impression that the plaintiff in suing the
on behalf of
"1 Responsibility to sue you about this land was
given to me by Reverend Winfred Sebetdane who is at Qholaqhoe and the
But later he says:
"15 Between me and Rev. Winfred Sebetoane the land
16 It was given to me by the consistory and the church."
He had therefore been lying to the Court a shortwhile
He had previously vehemently denied when the defendant
put it to him that the present case had previously being heard and
was the second time. Now, later he says:
"12 In the case that was before this Court (Local)
about this land, I was the Complainant.
13 I did not accept the decision of Makhunoane Local
Court (Before which the present proceedings were being conducted).
18 The decision that dismissed the case of this land was
reached in 1979."
So he had lied yet again until he was pressed to tell
Once more he had to concede that he lacked the capacity
to sue the defendant. In his own words he says:
"17 The consistory and the church do not have power
to allocate land."
That is the truth and yet he had attempted to lie and
thought he could get away with it.
It has been hold by thin Court that 'Circulars'
do not have the force of law. As Counsel for the
Appellant has put in his argument before me, Circulars
are administrative and not judicial injunctions and need never be
by the Courts of Law. Referring to a circular , issued by
the Secretary to the Cabinet, he purports that the land in question
allocated to the church by Chief Topi and "it was written by
the Honorable the Prime Minister and his Cabinet on 13th August,
and it was signed by Secretary J. T. Mapetla....." In any
event, the circular was warning the chiefs against depriving
churches of their lands granted to them long time ago. However, that
circular did not advance his case one inch. It confers
no rights on
him in respect of the land in question.
It does not matter to me,therefore what his witness said
in his hearsay evidence. It was of no consequence. A party was
"rights which in law he, in his own words said he did
not have. But above-all, the matter between the same parties had been
dismissed; no appeal noted and no self-respecting Court ought to have
entertained the second action between the same parties, before
court. It is now res Judicata (Thabo Makebe v Napo
The appeal is therefore upheld with costs.
For the Appellant : Advocate G. N. Mofolo For the
Respondent : In Person
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