HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
accused in this case appeared before the Maseru Magistrate charged
under two separate charges and two separate charge sheets
prepared for those offences.
charge was a contravention of section 26 (3) under the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act No.7 of 1981, in that upon
or about the
18th July, 2006 the accused when under arrest gave a false name to
the Police. This was in CR 341/2006.
reading of that section, one realizes that if accused is found guilty
the sentence to be imposed is M200.00 or 3 months imprisonment.
second class Magistrate who dealt with this case has committed the
accused for sentence by the High Court in terms of section
293 of the
Act. The accused had pleaded guilty to the charge.
293 of the Act is for committal of accused by the Magistrate to the
High Court, where the Magistrate feels that the punishment
be higher than he has power to impose. But I have already shown that
the maximum punishment for that offence in term of
section 26 (3) is
M200.00 or three months imprisonment. Surely that sentence is still
within the jurisdiction of the second class
offence on the other charge sheet, CR 334/2006, the accused is
charged with contravening section 3 (1) of Act 13/2000,
Theft Act. The allegations in the charge sheet show that a taxi was
stolen from its driver at gunpoint. The evidence
also support such
allegations, which clearly prove that force was used to gain
shows that the offence committed was armed robbery and not theft
under the section of the Motor Vehicle Theft Act.
these charges the magistrate has jurisdiction to pass sentences. I
therefore remit both cases to the Magistrate to pass
also state that I was not very much pleased with the handling of this
matter by the High Court. The accused had been committed
before this Court by the Magistrate as far back as the 20th July,
2006. According to the date stamp impression, it
was received in the
High Court Criminal Registry on the 31st August, 2006. It was only
allocated a date of hearing in February
this year. What a delay!
procedure on committal for sentence under section 294 demands that a
person so committed shall be brought to the High court
earliest possible time. This has not been the case with this case.
CR341/2006 the magistrate on the face of the charge sheet has shown
that he has referred the case for sentence because he has
it summarily. That is not the reason why accused ought
committed for sentence under Section 294. The offences were not even
committed on the same day but on different dates.
passing sentence therefore, since the accused has already spent some
time in prison awaiting his sentence, the time he has already
in prison should be taken into account in passing sentence.
also thank both counsel for the crown and for the defence. I only
ordered them to appear in this case at a very short notice.
been dealing with one case and when it was postponed just before
lunch, realizing that there was still no one for the crown,
asked them to appear and without any hesitation they obliged. Their
contribution was very much helpful to the Court, and
I thank them for
Crown: Mr Rammina
Accused: Mr Molapo
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