HERE is meaning in names. Take for instance the name Mathaelira, a Sesotho word meaning spit of enemies or something like that.
Then there is the name Mahapela, a Sesotho word which means he who captures other people’s things or he who captures and distributes to others (more like Robin Hood). How befitting then that the two names belong to senior judges who are now embroiled in a raucous battle over the control of the country’s judiciary.
One is Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla and the other is Court of Appeal President Justice Mathaelira Ramodibedi.
To this day it has not been established why Justice Ramodibedi, the bearer of the name Mathaelira, is spitting fire over a non-existent position of the head of the judiciary.
He cannot lay claim to a position that does not exist.
The constitution is silent on that issue, tough luck for him.
To this day it has not been understood why Justice Lehohla, the bearer of the name Mahapela, thinks he should capture the title of the head of the judiciary in this country.
That position does not exist and therefore cannot be captured.
The constitution is silent on that matter, tough luck for him.
Tommy cannot clamour to be called president of Lesotho because that position does not exist. Eish!
Is the market of commonsense short in this country?
There is no vacancy for the position of the head of the judiciary in this country because that position does not exist.
You don’t need to have the mind the size of the full-stop at the end of this sentence to understand this simple fact.
o why is the man with the name Mathaelira spitting fire over a position that does not exist? And why is the man with the name Mahapela trying to capture a position that is not there? The answer to that question is in your trash can at home or office.
Peep into that can and you will see tosh.
That, my dear reader, is what the two men are fighting over.
There are fights over real things, fights over petty things, fights over nothing and fights over tosh.
The battle between the top men at the Palace of Justice is over tosh.
Tosh is at the centre of their fight and tosh is what will come of out it.
In fact, tosh has already come out of their fight. We have always known that tosh will come out of their fight.
What was however unclear is the magnitude of the tosh.
Fortunately, that became crystal clear this week when their silly battles crippled the justice system.
Thanks to the bloated egos of the country’s two most senior judges, the Court of Appeal session for January has been cancelled.
We are told that when the Court of Appeal president requested High Court judges the chief justice told him to go hang.
Because the Court of Appeal president doesn’t like being told to go hang he reminded the chief justice that he is becoming a haughty junior.
When the chief justice realised that the Court of Appeal president is trying to play a Makhulu Baas on him he simply became insolent and told him that unless he behaves himself his court will not hear cases this month. Feeling disrespected and insulted, Makhulu baas tried to clip the chief justice’s wings but failed.
The winner is neither the chief justice nor the Court of Appeal president. They have both lost respect.
Justice Ramodibedi will surely find ways to equalise and that will perpetuate the fights.
And so the circus in our judiciary will continue.
The battle is many moons old and it is likely to continue for many more moons unless someone tells the two judges to stop their monkeyshines. No longer can we pretend that the two men will eventually realise the ruinous impact of their squabbles on our judiciary.
t is obvious that in the wake of this week’s fiasco we are likely to have zealots who will try to apportion blame to either one of the judges.
That will be misdirected.
There is no need for finger pointing here.
The two judges should wholeheartedly take the blame for this crisis.
The blame might not be in equal portions but it’s theirs and theirs alone.
Their tomfoolery is well documented.
It’s high time someone tells the two judges to put their bottoms down and start doing what they are paid to do, which is to deliver justice.
If this salad government of ours does not have the guts to do so then Scrutator will gladly accept the role without fear or favour.
Charges of contempt of court will find me here if anyone has the audacity and spine to even try raising a finger against me.
Unlike Peter who disowned Jesus before the cock crowed thrice Scrutator will stand by her words forever.
Whatever comes will find her here.
It is time to call a spade a spade. Whoever is pissed with what Scrutator is about to say can puke or go tell it to the mountain.
o here we go. The justice system of this country does not belong to the Chief Justice or the Court of Appeal president.
They are servants of the people and not their rulers.
The power they have belongs to the people of this country who have merely lent it to them to use responsibly and for the betterment of this country.
They can only hold and use that power for as long as they are delivering justice in this country. Once they fail to do so, like they have done this week, then they must vamoose.
Yes, you heard me right: if the two judges don’t want to work they must go.
Scrutator has had it to the back teeth with those two. They are playing bum jive with our justice system.
Their fight over nonissues has put the justice system into disrepute.
When two eminent judges behave in a way that affect the delivery of justice they deserve to be chastised.
What happened at the Palace of Justice this week is a scandal of monumental proportions.
That two senior judges can squabble over seniority until a court session is cancelled is a disgrace.
It is an insult to the people and it must be stopped before it gets out of hand. It is disheartening that this fight over nothing is happening at a time when the justice delivery system in this country is already in doldrums.
Surely, how can two senior judges fight over seniority when the country’s courts are swimming in a backlog of cases?
It takes years to get justice in this country yet our most senior judges are busy arguing over “foot sizes” (if you are clever you would know that Scrutator doesn’t mean foot sizes).
hat is particularly sad is that while there is overflowing mess at the Palace of Justice this polygamous government of ours is standing arms akimbo.
Their failure to act is poignant but not surprising. It’s probably because the partners in the threesome government are still consulting.
Consulting is all this government has done for the past six months.
Scrutator has not been unfortunate enough to be at the cabinet meetings but she imagines a typical meeting goes like this:
Minister A: Ladies and gentlemen there are too many flies in this boardroom. What can we do?
Minister B: Chief, we can all see that there are flies here but we cannot just buy insecticide to kill them. We have to first consult to find out if the flies must be killed in the first place. After that we must then consult on which insecticide to use and from whom shall we buy it.
Minister E: There are many corrupt ministers in this government. They must be investigated.
Minister M: Yes, we all know that corruption is prevalent in this country but we cannot just investigate people. We need to consult and agree on who should be investigate and when.
Minister C: There is hunger in the country. People are starving.
Minister X: That is true but before we work out a solution we must consult first.
And so the conversations go on like that, with each important issue being referred for consultation.
Scrutator has no doubt that this salad government is still consulting on how to deal with the crisis in the judiciary.
In the meantime two senior judges are tearing the judiciary into pieces.
he solution to this crisis lies in four letter word.
The bulls will continue fighting until one of them or both are removed from the kraal. Either that or we must rob them of the cow (read power in this case) they are fighting for.
Do I hear someone talking about independence of the judiciary? My foot!
When the judiciary is in a crisis it cannot be left to its own devices.
Lesotho’s judiciary is incapable of saving itself. A judiciary that cannot pull itself out of the mud cannot deliver justice to the people.
We must accept that our judiciary is a mess.
The evidence is there for all to see from the huge backlog of cases to the squabbles in its echelons.
n an entirely different matter Scrutator notes that the sick season of party elective conferences is upon us again.
Unlike the ANC Mangaung elective conference next door that saw Jacob Zuma crush Kgalema Motlanthe, the Democratic Congress (DC)’s indaba next week will likely be one big charade of an elective conference.
The DC’s claim to be the sole defender of the democratic tradition in Lesotho is likely to be exposed as a farce next week.
We have seen enough in the run-up to the conference that there are not enough bootlickers within that party.
The hero worshipping of the party leader and his top lieutenants is likely to go on ad infinitum.
Instead of exposing all DC leaders, who were never elected by the people, to the rigours of an elective process, we seem to be seeing an embarrassing attempt to shield them from the electoral process.
Perhaps a lesson is history would suffice here.
It is said in the 1980s Robert Mugabe was an untouchable in Zimbabwe. No one dared challenge him for the leadership of his party.
So there was this MP who stood at a rally and uttered one of the most bootlicking statements ever made in Zimbabwe.
“Forward with President Mugabe,” he thundered.
“Mugabe does not die,” he added. “If he dies, his body won’t rot. If his body somehow rots, it will not smell. Long live President Mugabe!”
Scrutator was reminded of this nauseating slogan after listening to DC members falling over themselves as they vowed never to challenge Pakalitha Mosisili and his top lieutenants within the party.
With the amount of bootlicking in that party Scrutator wonders if its members still have tongues at all.
astly, Scrutator has not forgotten that she is yet to announce the winners of the coveted Mediocrity Gong Awards.
It’s just that some people have been jostling to be included on the list of contenders.
They have justifiable reasons to clamour for positions on the list so the adjudication period has been extended.
Who is Scrutator to deny them a chance to compete for the most prestigious awards in this country?
Let the battle for the Mediocrity Awards continue.
Did I hear someone complaining that the awards have been delayed?
Well, if you really want the results to come earlier than Scrutator has planned then start your own awards.