MASERU — The chief magistrate for the central region, Advocate Molefi Makara KC, was sworn-in as an acting High Court judge on Monday.
Justice Makara, who was appointed the King’s Counsel in September last year, has been a chief magistrate for the past 10 years.
His elevation to the High Court bench comes after the retirement of veteran judges Justices Gabriel Mofolo and Kelello Guni.
Justice Makara told a media briefing after his swearing-in ceremony that he was confident that he left the magistrates’ court, under the direction of senior magistrates ’Matankiso Nthunya and Napo Mohale, in good hands.
“Their Worships ’Matankiso Nthunya and Napo Mohale were always close to help me and their contribution made my job easy,” Justice Makara said.
He said although he has been appointed to the High Court, his heart is still with the magistrates’ court “where application of justice starts”.
Talking about his new job, Justice Makara said it is of pivotal importance for a judge to always remember his oath of office when he performs his duties.
He said a judge should have a clear conscience when he delivers judgments, remembering that those who have violated the law are still human beings as well as those who are victims of a crime.
A judge, he said, should tamper his judgments with mercy.
“That is why it is so important for a judge to study all situations surrounding a case,” he said.
“It is good that His Majesty’s government has a policy that allows restorative justice, which is applied in a manner that ensures justice for all.”
He highlighted forgiveness as a strong pillar of justice and restoration of public peace.
He appealed to all stakeholders to ensure that justice prevails in Lesotho by supporting the courts.
The government, he said, should play its role effectively by providing resources for all stakeholders.
He cited the case of the police whom he said they are not able to investigate cases thoroughly because of lack of resources.
“Our police seem to be in crisis,” he said.
“Sometimes cases do not proceed in court because of lack of evidence.”
He also appealed to the public to work together with crime investigators and voluntarily go to court to testify as that makes it easy for the courts to deliver justice.
“The wheels of justice will turn to the benefit of all if stakeholders are harmoniously joined together, with one heart and one objective, to the development of our justice system,” he said.