IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
HELD AT MASERU CIV/T/471/2009
In the matter between:
THATO RAMOKOTJO RESPONDENT/PLAINTIFF
‘MALITŠOANELO RAMOKOTJO APPLICANT/DEFENDANT
Delivered by the Honourable Acting Judge Mr. G.N. Mofolo
On the 14th April, 2011
Applicant/Defendant has approached this court applying for apprehension and committal of Plaintiff/Respondent for Contempt of Court. The application is opposed.
Plaintiff issued summons against Defendant claiming:
1. Restoration of conjugal rights failing which:
(a) A degree of divorce on the ground of Defendant’s constructive malicious desertion.
(b) Forfeiture of property.
(c) Custody of minor child Litšoanelo to Plaintiff and custody of Likopo to Defendant.
(d) Maintenance of both minor children by Plaintiff @ M500.00 per month per child.
2. Cost of suit in the event of opposition.
3. Further and/or alternative relief.
Defendant entered on appearance to defend pleading at the same time.
Plaintiff in his summons has alleged the sole cause of the breaking down of marriage relationships between Plaintiff and Defendant is discovering “something very unusual and same looked like a muti.” According to Plaintiff he was called by a witchdoctor who claimed he could help Defendant and Defendant has since not come back to the matrimonial home. Plaintiff has also claimed “Defendant by so administering a muti on his food, she constructively deserted the Holy Matrimony and Plaintiff fears his life is at risk in any continued matrimony with Defendant.
From the record of proceedings it appears on 02/03/2010, Mr. Ntlhoki appeared for Defendant there being no appearance by Plaintiff’s Counsel. Certain order being made by court regarding witness statement and:
“Plaintiff to pay contribution towards legal costs in the sum of M10, 000.00. Restoration of minor children to defendant pendent life and support in the amount of M1, 000.00 per month per child …”
On 18 March 2010, Plaintiff’s attorneys appear to have withdrawn “as Plaintiff’s attorneys and Counsel of Record respectively” and it will be observed when the court made an order above on 12/03/2010 the withdrawing attorneys were still attorneys and Counsel of Record on behalf of Plaintiff.
In his Heads of Argument, Mr. Ntlhoki has submitted an order was served on Respondent personally and on 10 May 2010 Applicant’s attorneys wrote to the Respondent informing him about the court order he already received. Mr. Ntlhoki has further submitted actions of the Respondent are willful and malafide and although served with court order it has not been rescinded to date nor are Applicant’s allegations denied by Respondent.
In his Heads of Argument, Respondent/Plaintiff’s Counsel does not deny there was settlement reached between Mr. Mofilikoane for Applicant and Mr. Sehloho for Respondent which was made an order of court. Respondent’s counsel against the above background has alleged “a dispute of facts exists” and I am wondering what dispute of fact Counsel is referring to. Counsel for Respondent has also alleged there are issues for determination and the court’s view is there are no issues for determination in the instant application as parties were agreed on major issues and having done so Respondent fails to play his part as ordered by the Court.
Consequently Respondent/Plaintiff is guilty of contempt as prayed and is to be brought to court to be dealt with as is meet in the circumstances.
For the Applicant : Mr. Ntlhoki
For the Respondent : Mr. Ntema
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