IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the Application
'MANTHABISENG MASOABI ... Applicant
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL...... 1st Respondent
THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE 2nd Respondent
THE OFFICER COMMANDING
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT.... 3rd Respondent
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molai on the 25th day of March, 1988._____
The applicant in this application sought an order framed in the following terms
Directing the Respondents to release to Applicant driving licence No. 34975 issued on or about 14th December, 1984, by the Department of Traffic.
Directing the Respondents to issue to Applicant a new and regular driver's licence,
Restraining the Respondents from in any way interfering with Applicant's possession and lawful use of her driver's licence except as otherwise provided for by law.
Directing the Commissioner o Police to destroy or cause to be destroyed Applicant's finger prints taken by the police.
Dispensing with the Rules of Court relating to service of process and directing the Respondents to file all necessary pleading on or before the 30th day of November, 1987.
Directing the Respondents to pay the costs of this application."
The Respondents intimated their intention to oppose the application. The founding and answering affidavits were filed by the Applicant and the Respondent, respectively. No replying affidavit was however, filed by the Applicant.
It is common cause that on 9th June, 1987, the applicant went to the Traffic Department to have her driving licence regularised because every time she was asked to produce it by the traffic police she was told that the licence bore a coat of arms imprint which was bigger than that oidinarily appeared on other drivers' licences. When the applicant presented it to the Traffic Department, the latter impounded the licence and asked her to reveal the name of the person from whom she had bought it.
According to the applicant, on 14th December, 1986 she was examined and tested for driving by the officials of the Traffic Department. She passed the examination and the test. She was then issued with the driving licence serial number 34975. She denied, therefor that she had bought the licence from anybody. If the coat of arms imprint on her driving licence was bigger than it ordinarily was on other drivers' licences it was not her fault. Wherefore the applicant prayed for an order as aforesaid.
In the answering affidavits the deponents averred that when on 9th June, 1987 she came to the Traffic Department the applicant was asked who, on 14th December, 1986, examined and tested her for driving. Her reply was that she had been examined and tested by the Traffic Department officials who were not soldiers According to Khotsang Lechesa, the Traffic Commissioner who disposed to the answering affidavit on behalf of the Respondents, the officials of his department were no longer
examining and testing prospective candidates for driving licences at the time the applicant was allegedly examined and tested. That duty was peformed by members of the Royal Lesotho Defence Force who always had their uniform on. In fact his records revealed that on 14th December, 1986 only one woman was examined and tested for a driving licence. She was definitely not the applicant.
The serial number 34975 appearing on applicant's driving licence was serial number for the driving licence issued on 10th May, 1984 to one Sophonia Tefo Monnanyane and not the applicant. In support of this averment the deponent attached annexure "8" Driver's Licence Record Card No. 34975 kept by his office and clearly showing that serial number 34975 was for a driving licence issued in the name of Sophonia Tefo Monnanyane on 16th August, 1984.
The Traffic Commissioner further averred that according to his records at the time the applicant was allegedly issued with the driving licence serial number 34975 the Traffic Department was issuing driving licences ranging from serial number 43000 upwards and had long passed the serial number 34975. 'Moreover the "T.C.24" quoted on applicant's driving licence represented instructors' certificate and not driver's licence which was classified under "T.C. 18". The fee of M7.00 reflected on the applicant's purported driving licence was reviewed on 31st December, 1985. In 1986 the applicable fee was no longer M7.00 but M12-00.
For the foregoing reasons the Traffic Department took the view and rightly so in my opinion, that the applicant was never examined and tested for driving. Her purported driving lincence was fraulently obtained. Consequently it was impounded and the department was neither prepared to release it to the applicant nor issue another driving licence to her until such time as she had been successfully examined and tested for driving
As has been pointed out earlier, the applicant filed no replying affidavit to gainsay the averments contained in the answering affidavits. The onus was clearly on the applicant to prove, on a balance of probabilities, that she had been lawfully issued with the driving licence Number 34975. On the papers before me she has failed to discharge that onus. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the applicant has fraudulently obtained the driving licence. That being so, the police officers were entitled to take applicant's finger prints and she cannot be heard to say the Commissioner of Police should be directed to destroy them.
I would, therefore, dismiss this application with costs.
25th March, 1988.
For Applicant Mr. Rakuoane
For Respondent Mr, Putsoane.
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