IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the Appeal of
MOSELANTJA MOHOLA Appellant
R E X Respondent
REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
Filed by the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molaion the
7th day of August, 1990.
This appeal has already been dismissed for the following
The appellant appeared before a magistrate with First
Class powers charged with two counts of contravention of
Sec.4(a) of theLiquor Commission Order No.12 of 1986 and
contravention of Section 3(a) of Dangerous Medicines Act
No. 21 of 1973. The body of the charge sheet disclosed the
Count I : "Upon or about 28th March, 1987 and at or
near Sixondo, in the district of Quthing, the said accused did
import into Lesotho liquor products to wit; 143 Long Tom
cans of beer without permit and thereby commit an offence."
2/ Count II ....
Count II "Upon or about 28th March, 1987 and at or
near Sixondo, the said accused did unlawfully deal in a prohibited
or plant from which such medicine can be manufactured, to
wit; 17.8 kg of dagga without permit and thereby commit an offence."
When the charges were put to her the appellant pleaded
guilty. The public prosecutor accepted the plea of guilty tendered by
and the provisions of 5.240(1) (b) of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act, 1981 were invoked. At the close of
the trial the learned magistrate returned a verdict of guilty as
charged on both counts. On count I
the appellant was sentensed to six
(6) months imprisonment the whole of which was suspended for three
(3) years on conditions. A
sentence of 18 months imprisonment was
imposed on Count II.
The appeal was against only the sentence on a number of
grounds which could, however, be summed up in that it was too harsh.
The facts, and these were admitted as correct by the
appellant, disclosed that prior to 28th March, 1987 she had imported
quantity of beer cans into Lesotho from the district of
Transkei in the Republic of South Africa. On the day in question,
1987 members of the Royal Lesotho Mounted Police carried
out a house to house search in the appellant's home village, Sixondo.
the course of the search they
found 143 Long Tom cans of beer and 1¼ bag of dagga
inside the appellant's house. She produced no permits authorising her
the cans of beer and possess the dagga.
Consequently the police officers took possession of the
cans of beer and the dagga. The dagga was subsequently weighed
to weigh 17.8 kg. The appellant was cautioned and charged
After considering the evidence, the trial magistrate
returned a verdict of guilty as charged, on both counts, and
in my opinion. Indeed, the appellant herself lodged no
appeal against her convictions As it has been stated earlier, the
only against the sentence. It is, however, trite law that
the question of sentence is pre-eminantly a matter for the trial
descretion which must always be exercised judicially. Unless
it can be shown that in passing sentence the trial court has
itself or imposed a sentence that is so excessive as to
cause a sense of shock a superior court cannot properly interfere
In the present case I was not convinced that the
sentences imposed by the trial court were excessive. In Count I the
of 6 months imprisonment was suspended. In court II a
sentence of 18 months imprisonment for a person found to have been
in dagga was, if anything, sinning on the side of leniency.
4/ It certainly
It certainly did not cause me a sense of shock.
Regard being had to the fact that the trial magistrate
who had First Class powers sentenced the appellant to serve a term of
18 months imprisonment in Count II I was convinced that the
personal factors raised in mitigation were properly considered. The
could not, therefore, be said to have misdirected
himself in sentencing the appellant.
By and large I was satisfied that the appeal ought not
to succeed and I accordingly dismissed it.
B.K. MOLAI JUDGE
7th August, 1990.
For Appellant : Mr. Ramolibeli For Respondent : Mr.
- 10 -
The workers are not prepared to obey orders of such
employees on the ground that their orders are not lawful. I am of the
the applicant and its members have totally misconstrued the
provisions of section 28A of the Employment Act 1967. The
of employment issued to supervisors who come from
outside Lesotho have nothing to do with the employees of the first
are under the supervision of such foreigners. The
orders given by such foreigners can be disregarded by workers if they
in the sense that they are outside the terms of
employment of the workers or to any law or regulation in force in the
mere fact that such foreigners have no certificates of
employment cannot make their orders unlawful. If the applicant is
about the employees of the first respondant who have no
certificates of work, all it can do is to report them to the
authorities so that they can be prosecuted under
subsection (6) of section 28A of the Employment Act 1967.
It was submitted on behalf of the applicant that the
workers were not asked if they associated themselves with the strike.
I am of
the view that this submission is not sound. The workers
referred to are members of the applicant who had meetings at which it
agreed that a strike action should be taken. The applicant
represented all its members and informed the management of the first
that the workers would go on strike on the 15th June, 1990
and this is exactly what they did.
In the result the application is dismissed with costs.
3rd July, 1990.
For the Applicant - Mr. Rakuoane For 1st and 2nd
Respondents - Mr. Moiloa.
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