The day the horse went to court

5

What should we call a man who brings an Okapi knife to a gunfight?

Do we call him a fool, a loser, or a just a dunderhead?

Scrutator thinks all the above mentioned terms plus every other words you can think of will do just fine. 

When Whitehorse, who claims to own PC FM, demanded that he be allowed to prosecute the station’s managers, directors and lawyers, for lying Scrutator thought he was indeed a brave man.

Sure enough, the Director of Public Prosecution obliged and allowed him to have a go at his enemies. 

When Whitehorse walked into the magistrate’s court yesterday afternoon and announced that he was going to be the prosecutor himself Scrutator just shuddered at his bravado.

He was a man of character who stood for what he believed in. 

So I thought. 

But as normally happens when you venture into the technical details of a  profession that you know zilch about it wasn’t long before Whitehorse started hoofing all over the courtroom.

To upset Whitehorse the lawyers he was prosecuting and their advocate merely raised points of law.

Whitehorse had bungled because he did not follow procedure, they argued.

He has not even submitted security so that he could pay the costs if he loses the case and his papers are not in order, they charged.

Whitehorse suddenly found himself in the wilderness.

It was like the lawyers were speaking Mandarin to a Mosotho.

Whitehorse, a layman who has spent a fortune paying lawyers in his endless court fights, was at sixes and sevens.

At that moment he realised that it was not for nothing that lawyers were charging him an arm and a leg every time he visited their offices.

The three lawyers went for him until he realised that knives don’t win gunfights. 

He raised his hand, dropped the Okapi knife and requested that the fight be postponed so that he could recoup and bring a proper weapon.

But lawyers, who by now were sensing victory, would have none of that.

There is nothing to postpone since it’s a nullity, their advocate argued. 

The magistrate agreed with the lawyers and threw out the case.

After that Whitehorse galloped to his car and disappeared from the courts.

Perhaps he was avoiding the awkward questions from the media about his defeat.

Scrutator is aware that Whitehouse now plans to drag his cart of court papers to the High Court to launch an appeal.

We hope this time he will stick to the book and hire a lawyer. 

Scrutator has heard that a lawyer can cost as little as M50 per day.

If M50 is a bit on the high side a pack of makoenya ka litapole might do just fine.

Scrutator says this without malice because the fact that lawyers are probably the lowest paid professionals in Lesotho is as bare as a goat’s behind.

Still on lawyers’ salaries, Scrutator had always wondered what happened to all the baboons and monkeys that used to wreak havoc on maize fields across the country.

Now, this revelation is not for the faint-hearted.

It has now emerged that someone warned the baboons and monkeys that if they continued raiding maize fields they would all be turned into lawyers.

And they all fled!

I hear some baboons who found refuge across the border were recently seen laughing their lungs out.

And it turned out the object of their amusement was a pay-slip belonging to a local junior lawyer!

Scrutator was tempted to dismiss the “laughing baboons” story as a crude joke until she learnt the money situation in the legal fraternity was really frightening.

Some lawyers earn as little as M500 a month.

Less than what the lowest paid textile factory worker gets!

By the time Scrutator’s lawyer friend finished narrating their ordeal, tears were already cascading down her cheeks.

When a proposal was recently made to peg the minimum wage at M2 000, senior lawyers threw tantrums as if they had been asked to bet their wives at a morabaraba game.

“Too much!” they protested.

The junior lawyers are praying that they will not be denied the M800 they are now begging for.

So much for spending five sleepless years studying law!

Little wonder any village bumpkin in this country can afford a lawyer. 

The soap opera taking place at that ramshackle of a political party has never ceased to amaze Scrutator.

We have a former leader of a military junta who markets himself as a democrat.

Metsing Lekhanya was kicked out of the Basotho National Party (BNP) screaming and kicking last month.

But the man is determined not to go quietly.

He has now anointed himself the new high priest within the BNP with the specific mandate to anoint his own successor.

A brutally frank Lekhanya must be enjoying his forced retirement given his withering assessment of candidates wishing to ascend the great throne.

Scrutator enjoyed this vitriolic attack against one lawyer who is vying to succeed him.

“Lawyers are like architects, lacking in the aspect of human character,” Lekhanya lashed out.

It was not just lawyers who were the target of his vitriol.

Teachers were also not spared.

“The problem with teachers is that they think they know better than other people. He (Francis Makoa) is a technocrat lacking good leadership skills.”

Scrutator used to think she was the only one in the Mountain Kingdom with a foul mouth until she listened to the former army general.

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