Whitehorse makes U-turn on polls

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Tefo Tefo

THE Whitehorse Party has made a U-turn on its court application to have the 28 February 2015 general elections deferred by three months.

The party approached the Constitutional Court last month seeking the postponement of the polls to 30 May to enable its leaders to go through the voters’ roll.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Director of Elections, Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Attorney General and 22 political parties registered for the elections, were cited as respondents in the case.

However, the party, led by businessman Mohau ‘Whitehorse’ Thakaso, now wants to withdraw the case “in the interest of the public”, but the respondents want it totally dismissed to ensure it would not be resuscitated at a later stage.

Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara, Justices Tšeliso Monaphathi and Semapo Peete are expected to make a ruling on the case tomorrow.

One of the respondents’ lawyers, King’s Counsel Salemane Phafane, on Tuesday told the Lesotho Times: “The applicant wants to withdraw the case, but we are saying it should be dismissed because that would mean there is finality. There is a big difference between the two and this should be made very clear.

“The other reason why we also want a total dismissal is because the applicant has made some serious allegations that if the case is not dismissed, these claims will remain hanging.

“The applicant claims there is already a winner and going for the elections is just trying to legitimise the situation. Because of this very serious allegation, there is need for the court to dismiss the case.”

Meanwhile, in the application filed on 28 January, the party also wanted the IEC to explain why it was “refusing, neglecting or failing” to provide it with information regarding the voters’ roll.
The party also sought to have the theft of IEC computers in October last year, declared a violation of its right to participate in government in terms of Section 20 of the Lesotho Constitution.

The Whitehorse further sought an order compelling the IEC to supply it with the voters’ roll free of charge.

The party further requested the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry under the auspices of the State Council to probe the theft of the 21 IEC computers, some of which contained data pertaining to the forthcoming polls.

The Whitehorse also wanted the court to nullify the lists of Proportional Representation (PR) seats the IEC was given by 21 political parties on the grounds they were submitted after the 21 January 2015 deadline.

Advocate Letuka Molati is representing Whitehorse in the case, while the defence team comprises King’s Counsel Phafane, Motiea Teele, Karabo Mohau, Attorney Thulo Mahlakeng and Advocate Lekobane.

 

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