LEPOSA, Compol feud goes to Appeal Court



MASERU – The long and barbarous battle between the Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) and Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli, has now landed in the Appeal Court of Lesotho.

This is a matter that concerns Lance Sergeant (L/Sgt) Mathebe Motseki and Molibeli which was before the High Court per CIV/APN/238/2020.

The matter emanated from utterances Motseki at a funeral in Mafeteng in her official capacity as the national gender coordinator and as a member of National Executive Committee of the police staff association.

The office of the Commissioner had initially written a letter of representation to L/Sgt Motseki directing her to show cause, if any, why she cannot be dismissed from the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) on the basis of the statements she uttered while at the Mafeteng funeral.

Utterances, the commissioner’s office said have the potential to put the LMPS into disrepute and subverting good order.

Motseki was expected to respond to the letter within seven days in her response, among others, submitted that she should not be charged or dismissed on the basis of the said statements while acting under her official capacity as LEPOSA’s national Gender Coordinator.

The letter of representation clearly instructed her respond to why she should not be dismissed in terms of Section 31 (l) (i) of the Police Act No 7 of 1998.

In the process L/Sgt Motseki approached the High Court seeking prayers that Molibeli be interdicted and/or restrained from dismissing her on the basis of the same police Act.

The High Court issued an interim order in that regard pending the final determination. However, Commissioner Molibeli proceeded to dismiss Motseki.

After the matter was heard an order was made by the High Court to the effect that the commissioner’s decision Motseki should be set aside.

As a result Commissioner Molibeli has taken the matter to the Court Appeal in his pursuit to dismiss L/Sgt Motseki.

The Constitutional Court has already pronounced a ruling in a similar matter also involving L/Sgt Motseki and Inspector Moraleli Motloli in which the court decided that views expressed in their official capacity within the association ranks cannot be a sufficient justification for dismissal since it borders on the freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution of Lesotho.

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