Ramakatsa and Others v Commissioner of Police and Others (Constitutional Case No.22/2018) [2019] LSHCONST 1 (16 April 2019);

Search Summary: 

Application for habeas corpus and release from unlawful detention – Applicants’ relatives applying to court – Whether relatives have locus-standi – Constitution 1993, section 22(1)

Liberty – Detention – Lawfulness – Prescribed purpose – Applicants arrested and detained in police custody on charge of robbery – Period of detention extending beyond the constitutional and statutory period of 48 hours – No charge laid throughout period of detention and applicants not brought before court for remand – Warrants for further detention granted without notice to applicants or their lawyer – Whether restriction of liberty imposed for purposes other than those prescribed in the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act – Constitution 1993, sections 4(1)(b), 6; Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, 1981 sections 32, 33 and 34

Individual application – Hindrance – Access to lawyer while in detention – Legal representation when application for further detention made – Applicants’ lawyer denied access by the police – Interrogation used as reason for denying access to lawyer and family members – Whether infringement of the right to legal advice and legal representation – Constitution 1993; Judges’ Rules.

Interrogation by police – Denial of access to lawyer – Evidence collected in the process  - Whether evidence to be declared inadmissible in subsequent trial – Whether right to presumption of innocence violated – Constitution 1993, section 12(2) (a).


Held at Maseru



In the matter between:


‘MAABELE RAMAKATSA                                               1ST APPLICANT

NTSOAKI SENTJE                                                               2ND APPLICANT