HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC
MAGISTRATE MASERU 2nd Respondent
ATTORNEY-GENERAL 3rd Respondent
bv the Hon. Mrs Justice A. M. Hlajoane on 12th February,
matter is before me on review of the proceedings from the
Magistrate's Court -Maseru.
office filed their opposing affidavit on behalf of all the
Respondents. The grounds for applying for a review being that:-
(i) There was no interpreter in Court
(ii) He was not informed or advised of his right to legal
(iii) That he was cheated by the Public Prosecutor in admitting guilt
and was promised a lenient sentence, when in fact he never
(iv) He was not advised of Legal Aid.
can even start with anything, there has to be a distinction made
between how the High Court operates in recording its
it civil or criminal, and how the Magistrates' Courts operate. Both
these Courts are Courts of record. At the Magistrate's
Court it is
the Magistrate who produces a record in every case, but at the High
Court what is written by a Judge are Judge's notes.
The record will
be what will be produced from the recording tapes.
when a matter is sent for review to this Court the record that is
sent to us is what has been written by the Magistrate,
which is a
record that has been sent to this Court, the photocopied version,
which has been certified as a true copy of the original
on the charge sheet on space provided for showing an interpreter that
one M. Mokoteli was an interpreter. I do not only
know why the Crown
counsel did not find it fit to attach also an affidavit from either
the Public Prosecutor or the interpreter
himself. But the record has
shown that there was an interpreter in Court. This Court being a
Court of record ex facie show that
there was an interpreter in Court.
record also shows that the Magistrate before asking Applicant to
plead he informed him of his right to bail and to legal
There were four accused persons in all and all
elected to appear in person. Some pleaded guilty and others not
guilty to the charge.
A separation of trials was applied for and was
Magistrate had further recorded is that those who pleaded guilty had
even intimated that they understood that their pleas
might attract a
serious punishment. In fact the separation of trials was done after
the two that had pleaded guilty had shown they
understood the import
of having pleaded guilty.
the record ex facie show that Accused were advised of their rights
including that to legal representation.
advised to Legal Aid, the Respondents in argument and in particular
the opposing affidavit show that it was not under the
the duty of the magistrate to have advised Accused on that. It will
only be when Accused show that they have no funds
to pay such fees
for a lawyer of their choice that he could be advised of services of
the Legal Aid. There was therefore no irregularity
prejudice to anybody.
Magistrate's Court being a Court of record, nowhere has it been shown
on the record that the accused was or had been influenced
Public Prosecutor. Neither has it been shown that Applicant ever said
he had pleaded guilt}7 because he had failed to report
co-accused raped the victim.
record show is that Applicant after the outline of facts was recorded
to have said "I fully agree with the outline
by the DPP".
In mitigation Applicant showed he did not rape intentionally but that
he was influence by the other Accused,
who pleaded with him that if
he did not also rape, he was going to cause his friend to get
therefore find that all the grounds for review are without merit and
have to be dismissed. No irregularity has been proven. I
dismiss the application.
Applicant: Mr Habasisa
Respondents: Mr Joala
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