MASERU — A junior soldier is demanding M2 million from the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, claiming he was unfairly dismissed from the army last December.
Private Lehlohonolo Mohola, who holds a BA in Public Administration and Political Science degree, resigned from the army in September 2012 only to withdraw the resignation a month later.
The withdrawal was accepted by the LDF with his superiors in the army writing to him confirming his letter withdrawing the resignation.
“His superiors duly accepted the withdrawal and they then wrote him a confirmation letter regarding withdrawal of resignation, thus indicating that they (had) accepted his withdrawal.”
But Mohola said he began encountering problems sometime in October after he told his superiors that he was not happy with the discrepancy regarding his salary.
He argued that the grade on which he had been paid was not in accordance with the grade stipulated by the Public Service regulations which provides for entry point for all graduates being employed into the civil service.
The entry point for a degree holder in government is over M5 000.
In his court papers, Mohola said he met Lt Gen Kamoli at Ratjomose Barracks to discuss the issue on October 26 last year.
Mohola told the High Court that when he met Lt Gen Kamoli to discuss the issue of his salary, to his “surprise and utter dismay” the army boss blatantly told him that he had discretion to authorise his earlier resignation and that he would fight for his monies not as a member of the LDF.
“The plaintiff then went about his normal duties until he was recalled from patrol at Mohale Dam on the 30th December 2012 where upon he was informed by Major Lekoatsa that his resignation (had) been approved,” reads the declaration.
“The Plaintiff then brought to their attention that his resignation (had) been withdrawn and there is a confirmation letter to that effect. He was then told to wait for a few days.”
Mohola told the High Court in the papers that five days later, on January 3, 2013, he was given a letter in which Lt Gen Kamoli had approved his resignation.
“This was despite the fact that he had withdrawn his resignation and there was a confirmation letter to that effect, and further that the said withdrawal of resignation was never revoked by the Plaintiff,” said Mohola’s declaration.
Mohola then approached his lawyers who demanded that Lt Gen Kamoli pay the soldier his salary arrears from date of enlistment.
“In the given circumstances, the plaintiff is obliged to consider the acts of (first respondent) as being a blatant violation of his right to property by denying him his lawful salary”.
“And further that his resignation is a direct consequence of his fight for his monies, and therefore amount to unfair dismissal and or forced resignation especially when his resignation was done without his consent.”
He is demanding M74 300 in salary arrears, M2 million being the money he would have earned if he was not unfairly dismissed and M12 994 for his annual leave days.