HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
SELITONGWE 1st Respondent
MOLETE 2nd Respondent
Points in Limine
by the Hon. Mrs Justice A. M. Hlajoane on 1st August 2007
an Application for contempt of Court alleged to have been committed
by the Respondents by failing to obey certain Court
orders granted by
this Court in CIV/APN/176/09 Sello Molati vs Thabang Letela and 7
Others and CIV/APN/213/06 Sello Molati vs Thabang
Letela and World
Court orders were attached to the founding affidavit by the Applicant
in this matter. Because both orders were fairly short,
I am going to
reproduce them in this ruling. CIV/APN/176/2006
Molati v Thabang Letela & 7 Others
Respondent be and is hereby restrained from unlawfully interfering
with applicant's election to the Executive Committee
of the Kota
Centre of the Kota Area Development Project.
inauguration of the working committee of the Kota Area Development
Project be and is hereby stayed."
Molati v Thabang Letela & World Vision Lesotho
first Respondent be and is hereby restrained forthwith from
interfering with the activities of the current Kota Working
Committee of Kota Area Development Programme for the term of 2003 —
first Respondent be and is hereby ordered to allow the current Kota
working committee for the term of 2003 — 2006 to
its daily activities of Kota Area Development Programme."
therefore common cause that this Court indeed did grant final Court
orders in both CIV/APN/176/06 and CIV/APN/213/06 on
2006 and 17th October, 2006 respectively. What becomes common cause
also is the fact that in both orders first Respondent
is one Thabang
in their heads of arguments and in their answering papers have argued
that in fact the two Court orders they are alleged
to have defied
have not restrained World Vision Lesotho from interfering with Kota
Area Activities through its officers. They have
Thabang Letela from interfering.
CIV/APN/176/06 World Vision Lesotho was the 8th Respondent whilst in
CIV/APN/213/06 World Vision Lesotho
second Respondent. In both those Court orders it was the first
Respondent only who was restrained from interfering not other
Respondents. The orders were both very specific in showing whom they
were intended to restrain. Parties were agreed that issues
Whether or not Respondents have locus standi to be sued.
Whether the Respondents were as a matter of fact guilty of contempt
of Court in the particular circumstances of this Application.
Whether Applicant has made out a case or satisfied requirements for
contempt of Court. Locus Standi
in which the Defendant/Respondent is sued must be clearly indicated,
Theory and Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions 5 Editions p.46.
As Plaintiff has to make
averments to show that Defendant has locus standi, so must the
Applicant to the Respondent in Application proceedings.
Northern Natal Auctioneers (Pty) Ltd v Rautenbach 1961
585 cited by the Respondents, a Summons in a Provisional Sentence
action on a notarial bond had described the Defendant
Margaretha Rautenbach" when the bond contained a fuller
description of her as being a married woman married
out of Community
of Property" and even giving out the number and year of such
type of marriage as 241/1947.
there held that the description of the Defendant in the summons read
with that contained in the Notarial Bond was not
indicate that the marital power had been excluded. The Court there
granted a postponement to allow for necessary
shown earlier on in this ruling that the fact that final orders were
granted was not disputed. Applicant submitted that the
granted and that Respondents received them. He went further to say
Respondents disobeyed the orders wilfully hence
the submission that
Applicant has met requirements to establish contempt of such orders.
seem that the three issues for determination are more or less
intertwined and as such it would not be that simple discussing
without necessarily touching on the other or others.
indicated earlier on in this ruling, the two Court orders in issue
restrained one Thabang Letela. But the Respondents in this
Application are Martin Selitongwe and Selete Molete. No connection
has been established between Thabang Letela and the Respondents
this matter. The two Court orders did not even restrain World Vision
Lesotho for whom the present Respondents are officers of
to be held in contempt, the order must have been granted against him.
He must have been made aware of such an order granted
against him or
been served with such an order. He would then be in contempt if after
such 'knowledge', he chooses to disobey or
neglect such an order.
the Applicant has failed to establish that the Respondents had locus
standi to be sued for contempt under the circumstances
of this case.
It would still be of no help to have shown them or made them aware of
such orders as they were not granted against
They could therefore not be said to have disobeyed orders not granted
Applicant has even failed to establish whether Respondents have in
fact stepped into the shoes of the 1st Respondent in both
CIV/APN/176/2006 and CIV/APN/213/2006 and what precisely Respondents
have done that is contrary to the Court orders. Applicant
failed to allege relevant facts for the granting of the order for
not met any of the requirements for an order of contempt. The
application for contempt is thus dismissed with costs.
Applicant: Mr Metsing
Respondents: Mr Thabane
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