HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
on the 28nd April, 2005, by the Hon. Mrs Justice A. M Hlajoane
an Appeal from the decision by the Judicial Commissioner. This matter
had started at the Maja Local Court where the Appellant
Defendant and the Respondent was Plaintiff. The claim was for six (6)
head of cattle or Ml 500.00 per head as compensation
Plaintiffs daughter, Teboho Phalatsi, by Defendant's son, Khotso.
Local Court gave judgment in favour of the Plaintiff. The Defendant
then appealed to the Central Court which upheld the
the ground that there had been no corroboration. On further appeal to
the Judicial Commissioner's Court, the decision
of Central Court was
reversed, hence the appeal to this Court.
Appellant has appealed to this Court on the ground that the Judicial
Commissioner misdirected himself by relying on the uncorroborated
evidence of the girl alleging to have been impregnated by Appellant's
son. The Appellant relied on the authority of Jagadamba v
in Duncan Sotho Law and Custom at 107, a 1947 (2) S.A. 283 case.
crucial evidence that was led was that of the girl herself. She had
pointed out that they fell inlove with Khotso on 17th December,
and had sexual intercourse with him on six occasions. The dates were
9/12/99, 11/12/99, 17/12/99, 30/12/99, 17/01/00 and 17/02/00
child was born on the 4th September, 2000. It would be seen from
these dates that according to the girl, she started sleeping
Khotso even before they could fall inlove. They slept together and
had sex on the 9th and 11th December 1999 and came to fall
later on the 17th December, 1999.
has rightly put it, that cases of this nature hinge on the
reliability of complainant's evidence, which in the nature
carefully examined. It was in this case that the special rule had to
apply, requiring corroboration of Plaintiff s evidence.
could be in Plaintiffs favour but in the absence of any corroboration
he loses the case. If it is in his favour and there
then he wins the case, Jagadamba's case supra.
not have mattered whether or not the girl was older than the boy as
was said to be the case in the present appeal. The
special rule had
to apply even in this case where there had been allegations that one
taxi boy was at some stage expelled from
the girl's home and the boy
even had to go out through the window.
authorities cited have given examples of corroboration that have
satisfied the Court as love-letter and others. In this case
been no corroboration, even of a person who could have known of the
affair. Despite service on him, the Respondent was
not in attendance.
Appeal therefore succeeds with costs.
Appellant: Mr Letsika
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