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Kamoli threatened



MASERU – High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has warned that he will slap Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli with costs if he ever files another application of recusal against him. Justice Hungwe said this in his judgment on Monday while dismissing Lt Gen Kamoli’s application of recusal in which he expressively said he had no confidence in him.

The judge said this kind of application has wasted the court’s time as he had made it very clear from the onset that Lt Gen Kamoli had nothing to fear because he will be guided by principles of justice.
Justice Hungwe said the only time a judge would recuse himself from a case is when he is sick or unable to do his job.

“As far as I am concerned I am in a healthy state and still doing my job accordingly,” he said.

He however apologised for saying Lt Gen Kamoli was offered a chance to find a lawyer of his choice if Advocate Letuka Molati was not present.
Justice Hungwe said it was a slip of the tongue adding that the court admits that it was wrong to have said so.

“Kamoli has proved us wrong and we admit that he was never offered that chance as claimed,” he said.

He argued that the admission did not make him incompetent and that he should recuse himself from the case.
He explained that even the allegations that Lt Gen Kamoli made that he said “he will deal with” him are not true.

He said he cannot judge him based on what was said in other courts.
Justice Hungwe emphasised that he will never be biased as Lt Gen Kamoli claimed, and as a result, this should be the last time he makes this kind of application.

“I will have no option but to dismiss this kind of application with costs,” he said.

He said he will do this because there are plenty of applications that Lt Gen Kamoli filed and were dismissed freely so if dismissed with costs he would not waste the court’s time again.
Lt Gen Kamoli’s lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati, however told thepost that “the application was filed in good faith”.

“In the future there will still be other applications to file,” Advocate Molati said.

“There are presently two applications which are going to be filed because we have reached a point where jurisdictional facts exist for filing of such applications,” he said.

As to what kind of applications, Advocate Molati said the answer will be provided at the right time.

“You don’t cross a river until you reach it. Otherwise we are happy with a very well researched judgement delivered timeously by the court,” he said.

Asked if he would challenge Justice Hungwe’s judgment, he said “I work on instructions”.

“As yet I don’t have any instructions on the judgement itself until my client has read it in written form and has had time to reflect on it,” he said.

“Let’s remember that the cardinal principle of law is that you obey a court’s judgement even if you don’t agree with it.”

Another defence lawyer, Advocate Napo Mafaesa, said “the judges’ threats are baseless”.
Advocate Mafaesa said Justice Hungwe “is making empty threats because we have a right to make that kind of application”.

“We won’t stop complaining if something wrong bothers us in this trial,” he said.

He said everyone has a right to a fair trial.
Advocate Mafaesa said what the judge said is “unethical, however we won’t be surprised if he comes up with something dramatic”.

’Malimpho Majoro


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