IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the
Application of :
RAYMOND QHOBELA Applicant
MOTSEKI NKIANE 1st Respondent COMMISSIONER OF POLICE 2nd
Respondent THE ATTORNEY & GENERAL 3rd Respondent
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the
17th day of August, 1989.
The view I take of the matter is based, in the nutshell,
on the fact that the law requires the applicant if he intends suing
to do so within six months of the arising of the
cause of action.
Furthermore in terms of the Police Order 1971 section 60
respondents are entitled to six months period of notice before
be sued out against any member of the police force.
Whereas against the government only one month's period of such notice
The applicant was in unlawful detention according to his
uncontroverted averments since August 1988 till January 1989. Of
the crown has taken a point of law against his application for
condonation of his delay in instituting proceedings and prayer for
the consequential enlargement of time to enable him to institute the
proceedings against the respondents.
It would thus seem at the time of his release in January
1989 the applicant had been in detention for five months. In such a
he was left with only one month within which to give notice
to the police whereas the law required that he should give two
If he were to give two months' notice to the Police
authorities in such a situation before issuing summons then the six
within which the law requires him to have instituted
proceedings would have been exceeded by a month.
Section 60 has a proviso that for good cause shown the
Court may extend the period of six months referred to above.
Mr. Mohapi for the respondents laid much store by
the requirement in that proviso that proof of good cause rests on
the applicant. Indeed
the applicant seems to me to be defeaningly
silent in his averments as to specific reasons which caused him to
fail to institute
the action in time.
But such reasons are, if I may say so, obvious through
sheer calculation of the periods in apprehension of which he has
making this application. On. all accounts it seems to me
that apprehension of the predicament in which he finds himself
not by an. act or omission on his part, is genuine.
In exercise of my discretion based on the wording of the
proviso to section 60 I dismiss the point raised in limine on behalf
respondents with costs and order that the period within which
the purported suit is to be instituted is extended by six months
from 17th September, 1989.
Having decided this application on this basis it
would seem that the other points raised whatever their
merits or their demerits fall away.
JUDGE. 17th August 1989
Applicant : Mr. Mohau
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