news

Oct. 15, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

2 min read

Fired soldier to know his fate in November

Fired soldier to know his fate in November

Senekane Mokitimi

Story highlights

  • High Court declared his dismissal as invalid
  • Senekane reportedly belittled army in media

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MASERU - PRIVATE Mokitimi Senekane, a junior army officer who was dismissed from the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) over 14 years ago will know his fate on November 12 when the Appeal Court makes a decision as to whether or not to allow him to return to the army.

The LDF command fired Senekane in December 2007, prompting him to challenge the dismissal in court. He was accused of abomination and making derogatory remarks about the LDF and its officers in an interview he had with a local newspaper on November 23, 2007.

Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Thuso Motanyane, the then army commander had asked Senekane to show cause why he could not be discharged from the force before he was eventually fired.Senekane’s case dragged in the High Court for over 12 years and was only heard in 2020. 

High Court judge, Justice Moroke Mokhesi on October 15, 2020 ruled that Senekane’s dismissal was invalid because of Lt Gen Motanyane’s failure to comply with the law and some ulterior motives he said were used to get rid of the soldier. 

In his submission, Senekane’s lawyer told the Court of Appeal earlier this week that the commander failed to consider LDF’s regulations in discharging his powers, adding that he acted beyond his powers in dismissing the soldier. 

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He said the commander was wrong in invoking the discharge on the basis that Senekane took an interview with the media and said things which were not in the interest of the LDF. For his part, the lawyer representing the army commander said the High Court erred in indicating that there should have been a conviction by the military tribunal or trial court before the discharge. 

He further showed that the High Court was wrong in concluding that the army commander was wrong in the decision he made.
He said the statements Senekane made which led to his dismissal were uncalled for, adding that an officer's discipline is key and should be maintained. The appeal was heard by President of the Court of Appeal, Dr Kananelo Mosito together with Judges Van de Westeheizen and Petrus Damaseb.

LeNA/Metro

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