Oct. 13, 2022


2 min read

Sick lawyer given time to prepare his case

Sick lawyer given time to prepare his case

High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Mokoko

Story highlights

    The court denies application for postponement by prosecution
    Lawyer asks for more time to interview his technical witness

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A High Court judge who is presiding over a matter in which a Ha Mabote man is accused of the murder of his wife has given a prosecutor who is filling in the shoes of his ill colleague time to study the case.

This, after the lead prosecutor, Advocate Pelea Joala had earlier reported ill, forcing the matter to be briefly rescheduled.

Qamo Matela of Ha Mabote in Maseru who appeared before Justice Tšeliso Mokoko on Wednesday has denied killing his wife ’Mahlompho Matela, born Rethabile Mofolo.

Adv Tseisa Poone who stood in for Joala told the court that he required more time in order to interview further a witness whose testimony is both lengthy and technical.

The court had earlier denied an application by the prosecution for the postponement but instead gave Poone time to interview his witness so that the case could proceed.
Justice Mokoko promised to do everything in his power to ensure that the case was heard to finality.

The court, he said, acknowledged Joala’s ill health, further admitting that the prosecution needed more time to deal with the technical evidence before the court.

“There are certain circumstances which are beyond human control and the current situation we are facing is one of those,” the judge also said.

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The matter is expected to continue on Thursday.

The court has already heard evidence from the accused’s friend, Lekhooa Monaleli, and the deceased's sister, Rorisang Mofolo.

The two witnesses have related to the court the events leading to the deceased's death.

They both testified that ’Mahlompho told them that her husband had assaulted her days prior to her death.

Evidence before the court shows that ’Mahlompho died on September 11, 2021, after her “abusive” husband brutalised her.

After her passing, the Mofolo family and Matela’s were engulfed in a bitter legal battle over the right to bury the deceased.
The case attracted a lot of public interest and activism against gender-based violence.

The Mofolo family contended that the Matela’s did not have the right to bury their daughter because he was responsible for her death.

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