Appeal from the Magistrate Court- Appellants having applied for an appeal of a land matter to the High Court sitting in its ordinary jusrisdiction. The court raising the issue of jurisdiction mero muto.
Held: The High Court sitting in its ordinary jurisdiction declines to hear the matter.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
HELD AT MASERU
In the matter between:
MALEBONA MOHALE 1st APPELLANT
NKHAHLE MOHALE 2nd APPELLANT
Coram : Honourable Justice E.F.M.Makara
Date of hearing : 3rd September 2018
Date of judgment : 3rd September 2018
Land Act no. 8 of 2010
Land (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 2012
1.1 At the commencement of this proceedings it emerged that there was a concern on the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the review brought before court by the appellant.
1.2 In this respect the court was referred specifically to the Land Act 2010 read in conjunction with the Land Act (Amendment) 2012. There was more emphasis on the effect of the word “all” introduced by the amendment of section 7.
The crown assigned it the interpretation that it was intended to delineate in clear terms the jurisdictional delimitations between the High Court exercising its normal powers in contradistinction to it sitting as a Land Court. According to it (Crown) the word “all” extended to the Land Court a criminal jurisdiction to hear in addition to civil cases, the criminal ones.
The respondent counter argued that notwithstanding Section 74, the Land Court Rules issued by the Chief Justice pursuant to Section 76 of the Land Act, still retains the competency of this Court sitting in its ordinary capacity to hear a criminal dimension of land dispute-based cases.
The court appreciates merits in the interpretation ascribed to the rules by the Appellant. This is because the reading of the rules seeks to bestow such jurisdictional powers upon this Court. This notwithstanding, a consequent and determinate issue would be whether the rules can competently assign jurisdiction over the Court. This holds true particularly when the Land Court dictates otherwise.
5.1 In resolving this controversy, the Court is of the view that the rules are ultra vires in purporting to maintain the jurisdiction of this Court to hear criminal cases concerning land matters and yet Section74 indicates otherwise.
5.2 In the premises, this Court sitting in its ordinary status, declines jurisdiction to hear the matter. There is no order on costs.
FOR APPELLANT : ADV. N. Pheko instructed by Messrs T. Maieane
FOR RESPONDENT: ADV. L. Lithoko instructed by the office of the DPP
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