MASERU — Former trade minister Popane Lebesa’s 28-year marriage ended last week over a child he sired out of wedlock.
Lebesa’s marriage to ’Mamoroke Lebesa, the principal secretary for the Ministry of Defence, was dissolved by the High Court last Thursday on grounds that he had an adulterous relationship.
In court papers seen by the Lesotho Times, Lebesa admitted that he fathered a child out of wedlock but sought to shift the blame to his wife whom he accused of denying him conjugal rights.
Apparently, it is Lebesa who filed for divorce in February this year claiming that “there are no prospects of reconciliation” because there was no communication between him and his wife.
Lebesa had asked the court to grant him divorce on the grounds of his wife’s “malicious or constructive desertion”.
’Mamoroke was never telephonically available, Lebesa alleged in court papers.
The former treasurer of the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy claimed that all efforts and family intervention had failed to solve their differences as his wife had distanced herself from the family.
He also claimed that his wife had also refused to take his advice on health issues.
But in her answering papers his wife turned the tables on him and accused him of being “distant” and adulterous.
“The fact of the matter and truthfulness thereof is that plaintiff is the one who is actually distant, aloof and ice-cold towards the defendant,” ‘Mamoroke said.
“The cause of the plaintiff’s negative behaviour is his adulterous relationship revealed in paragraph seven of the plaintiff’s declaration, and plaintiff is the one who denies the defendant her conjugal rights.”
She also denied that she refused to take Lebesa’s advice on medical issues.
“The fact of the matter is that the last time that plaintiff ever cared about defendant’s medical issues was when he compelled her to undergo an operation which the doctors said was dangerous and defendant was not ready for.”
Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla terminated the marriage on the basis of Lebesa’s adultery.
“Divorce is granted on grounds of plaintiff’s adultery,” Justice Lehohla ordered.
In his court papers Lebesa had asked the court to forgive him for engaging in an adulterous relationship.
He said his wife’s behaviour had driven him into engaging in an adulterous relationship.
“As a result of defendant’s behaviour plaintiff has had to seek comfort in the arms of one ’Mammoke Seliane and a son was born, therefore plaintiff asks for condonation of the court,” he said.
Lebesa resigned from his position in the LCD’s executive committee last year after Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili fired him as trade minister in a cabinet reshuffle that saw three other ministers losing their jobs.