IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO In the matter
MAHOOANA MOLAPO 1ST PLAINTIFF
TLALE LINKO 2ND PLAINTIFF
HIGH SCHOOL 1ST DEFENDANT
SHIDI 2ND DEFENDANT
PRINCIPAL MASABIELLA HIGH SCHOOL 3RD DEFENDANT
Delivered by the Honourable Mr. Justice T. Monapathi
on the 13th day of november 1995
I did not find any problem in awarding these Plaintiffs
their claim which were contained in their summons dated the 25th
The Defendants were served with the summons on the 6th
September 1995. The Defendants did not respond in any of the ways
in the rules of Court. The Plaintiffs therefore applied for
default judgment. They furthermore asked for amendments to prayers 3
and 4 to read 18% instead of 2.5% and
for,substitution of M221.82 for the First Plaintiff's
claim under prayer 3 and substitution of M1281.40 for Second
under prayer 4. This I allowed. They put in viva
voce evidence of the Plaintiffs themselves in prove of their claims.
They did because
prayers 1 and 2 which were for damages, which were
A few things that surround to the events leading to the
cause of the claims were a bit obscure. This had to do with the
undefended claims. There cannot always be a full and
complete inquiry as we understand it in this kind of claims. I need
on Chose things inasmuch as I thought however that, the
Plaintiffs were able to prove their claims.
There had been a students' trip to Swaziland in which
the Plaintiffs, as teachers, accompanied the students. The conduct of
was not quite satisfactory. The School management of
Masabielleng High School, at which these Plaintiffs were teachers, at
time, associated Che problems of the trip or the
unsatisfactory conduct of the students with the' influence of
Plaintiffs. The Plaintiff
were popular with Che students. It is
against this background that sometime in October 1993 the students
3 went on strike.
The students's strike resulted in a meeting of the
students parents which was called by the school management committee.
In that meeting
the Second Defendant while acting as the school
management committee Chairman, said words to the effect that the
the perpetrators or fomenters of the strike because
of their ambitions to head the school. The words were nearly as
rendered in Sesotho: "Batsoali, batho bana ke bona
ba bakang moferefere ke bona ba hlohlelletsi ba seteraeke sena se
Loosely translated: "Parents, this people are the
people who cause commotion and who encourage this present strike."
were given no opportunity to reply and went out humiliated. The
meeting then dispensed. The strike was later quelled.
As a result of the said meeting the Plaintiffs have been
uncomfortable in the knowledge that their characters and reputations
gone low in the estimation of the parents and villagers. They
were now unpopular and became fearful that harm would come to them
a result of the defamatory statements by the Second Respondent, made
before the parents.
The Plaintiffs then intended to resign at the month of.
December 1993. This they did, to take effect from the month of
The school management and the Third Respondent withheld
their different salary cheques for the month of December 1993. The
was that the funds contained in the cheques would be applied
for repair of property damaged during the strike. These cheques have
to date not been paid to the Plaintiffs. The respective amounts of
the monthly cheques have been proved by the pay slips which have
handed as Exhibits "A" for M1221.32 and Exhibit "B"
for M1281.40. I took the view chat the cheques were
and the claims in respect of the unlawful refusal to pay over the
cheques, ought to succeed.
I would find that the Plaintiffs were unlawfully
defamed. One of the consequences of this defamation wag that having
applied for positions
of teachers at some schools the allegation that
they were responsible to the strike at the First Defendant's school
were well propagated
and caused the authorities' thereat to refuse to
consider their applications. They are now luckily employed as
teachers after going
through the agony.
I made the following Order : That the claims were
allowed as follows:
1. M2,500.00 to the First Plaintiff as
damages to defamation.
M2,5000.00 for the Second Plaintiff asdamages to
M1221.82 to First Plaintiff for
M1281.40 to Second Plaintiff forwithheld
Interest on the above amounts at therate of 18%.
Costs are awarded to the Plaintiffs onthe ordinary
The amounts awarded to the Plaintiffsare to be
paid by the Defendantsjointly and severally one paying to
6 other to be absolved.
T. MONAPATHI JUDGE
Plaintiffs : Advocate B. Makotoko
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
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