In the matter between:
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE 1st Defendant
ATTORNEY – GENERAL 2nd Defendant
Delivered by the Hon. Mrs Justice A. M. Hlajoane on 8th August, 2011.
Plaintiff has claimed the following in his summons:
(a)Fifty thousand maluti (M50,000.00) for arrest
(b)Fifty thousand maluti (M50,000.00) for pain and suffering
(c)Fifty thousand maluti (M50,000.00) for unlawful detention
(d)Costs of suit
(e)Further and/or alternative relief.
The matter was opposed and after pleadings were closed and pre-trial conference held the date was set for hearing.
Plaintiff went into the witness box and testified on the 7th February, 2011. Because the matter could not proceed in the morning hours because of other cases that came before it, it only started at 2.30 p.m. The matter had to be postponed to another date for cross examination. It was so postponed to the 5th April, 2011.
On the 5th of April it was only the plaintiff and his counsel who were before Court, but defendants’ counsel showed no appearance and there was no message from their office. Deputy Attorney General’s office was contacted about unavailability of counsel and Mr Sekati of the Law Office, civil section was sent to come and rescue the situation. Mr Sekati only came and reported that counsel who was handling this matter was on leave.
The Court was not at all amused by this kind of behaviour from the defendants’ counsel and to show its displeasure wasted costs for that day were awarded to the plaintiff. The matter was again postponed to the 8th August, 2011 and defendants’ counsel took the trouble to prepare and file the notice of set down for that day which appeared to have been served on the Law Office on the 27th April, 2011.
On the 8th August, 2011 plaintiff and his counsel were before Court, but there was no appearance by defendants’ counsel. The matter was stood down to the afternoon at 2.30 p.m. but still no appearance for the defendants.
Since plaintiff had already led his evidence to establish his case the Court considered his evidence unchallenged.
Judgment was thus granted for plaintiff in terms of prayers (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the summons.
A. M. HLAJOANE
For Plaintiff: Mr Molise
For Defendants: Ms Mat?osa
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