OUTGOING Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Leaba Thetsane says he did not propose going on leave pending retirement “out of the blue” but from a realisation that the government wanted to replace him.
Advocate Thetsane is currently negotiating the terms of his early retirement with the government after serving as DPP since 1999. He was initially scheduled to retire on 28 June 2018 upon reaching the 60-year mandatory retirement age. Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane has since been appointed as acting DPP.
The DPP is mandated with the prosecution of criminal offences.
He told the Lesotho Times this week that he realised that Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Lebohang Hlaele did not want him to remain in post.
“At no stage did I ask for leave pending retirement out of the blue, I was quite aware that perhaps the minister did not want me in office,” said Adv Thetsane.
“So, I think all I did was to say well, honourable minister, maybe the best could be to part ways in the manner that I have suggested. I am ok with buying out my leave days because, as a professional, I was aware of why I was being pushed out. I was not surprised.”
The outgoing DPP stressed that he did not refuse to prosecute “certain people” as alleged by his critics.
“I have no qualms about leaving, all I want to do is to clear my name because I am in the twilight of my profession as a prosecutor.
“I am not being pushed out because I refused to prosecute certain people. If anybody could stand up and say so publicly, I think they will be inviting litigation because they will have to point out which those cases are.” – Also see Pages 8 &9