Africa-Press – Lesotho. Following a rigorous selection of Judges to the High Court bench, seven candidates who successfully passed the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) judgeship interviews were sworn-in as substantive Judges last week. The JSC had on October 29, 2021 advertised the positions of eight Judges of the High Court, an advert which attracted 21 applications of applicants and nominees and out of 21, 18 met shortlisting criteria and were interviewed openly televised interviews. The advert had required eight Judges but only seven made it and were confirmed to
have satisfied the JSC requirements. The successful incoming Judicial Officers are Judge Hopolang Nathane, Judge ‘Makampong Gugu Mokhoro, Judge ‘Mabatšoeneng Grace Hlaele, Judge Tšeliso
Mokoko, Judge Moneuoe Kopo, Judge ‘Mafelile Patricia Ralebese and Judge ‘Maliepollo Makhetha. Section 132 (8) of the Constitution charges the JSC with the mandate to recommend the names of the judges and submit them to His Majesty the King for approval. The Registrar of the High Court Advocate ‘Mathato Sekoai mentioned earlier this week that the two Judges will be posted at the Northern Region Division of the High Court, Tšifa-li-Mali, Leribe, four will join the Maseru High Court bench
while one will go to the Commercial Division of the High Court. The new Judges will complement nine Judges of the High Court. They are His Lordship Sakoane Sakoane (the Chief Justice), Judge Tšeliso Monapathi, Judge ‘Maseforo
Mahase, Judge Molefi Makara, Judge Moroke Mokhesi, Judge Keketso Moahloli and Judge Polo Banyane, Judge Fumane Khabo and Judge Realeboha Mathaba. The sawn-in substantive Judges boast the following profiles.
He was born in 1962. Justice Nathane boasts an industry legal career of over 35 years. From 1987 to 1990 he worked as the Assistant Registrar of the High Court after
which he went to become a professional assistant in L. Pheko and Company until 1996 when he established his law firm, H Nthane Chambers. He went into private
practice on his own. In 1999 to 2000 he was part of drafting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Lawyers Association. While in practice he
was conferred the King’s Counsel (KC) in 2012, a title for someone who has made a significant contribution within the legal profession, by His Majesty King Letsie III.
Madam Justice Mokhoro is 58 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Lesotho. She also has Master of Laws
and Postgraduate Diploma in Business Education under her belt. She was appointed as second-class Magistrate in 1989. In 1990, Judge Mokhoro acted as a
Registrar of the High Court and was later confirmed as Deputy Registrar of the High Court. Judge Mokhoro received an upward mobility promoted as Resident Magistrate, then in 2010 she was promoted to Senior Resident Magistrate until recently when she was a Chief Magistrate of the North Region.
Neé Nkoya Thabane in 1970, Madam Justice Hlaele’s legal career started in 1994 when she obtained the Bachelor of Laws and LLB in 1996 at NUL. She was admitted an
attorney in 1996 and she went to establish her law firm in 2001. In 2003, she obtained an LLM at the University of Free State. She joined NUL as a Lecturer in 2006 while still practicing until her appointment to the bench. She is currently reading for an LLD.
Justice Mokoko was born in 1973. He holds a LLB and was admitted into the High Court of Lesotho as a Lawyer in September 1998. He then proceeded to serve at the
Ministry of Justice and was placed in Legal Aid department from 1999 up to 2003 when he resigned from public service and ventured into private practice opening
his legal practice under T. J Mokoko Chambers where he worked from 2003 up to 2014. He left the practice and joined the United Nations post with his wife in
New York, in the United States and worked until December 2016. He was appointed the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship for a period of three years and in May 2018 he was posted at the
Ministry of Defence and National Security. In June 2019 he was appointed as the Ombudsman, a position he served until his appointment to judgeship position.
Justice Kopo holds LLB from NUL and LLM. The 50 year old was in 2000 admitted as a lawyer. He was the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) Senior Manager Internal Affairs and later the Registrar of Revenue Appeals Court.
Ralebese She was born in 1977. Madam Justice Ralebese holds LLB and LLM. She was admitted as an attorney in 2001. She practiced as Magistrate starting as Second-Class
Magistrate from 2000 to 2002 and promoted to First-Class Magistrate between 2002 and 2005 and received an upward mobility in 2005 as Resident Magistrate, a position she held until 2009. Judge Ralesebe served as Director Legal at NUL from 2015 until her appointment into the bench.
Madam Justice Makhetha was born in 1972. She holds LLB and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Demography. She cut teeth as First-Class Magistrate in 2003 to
2006, she was elevated to the position of Resident Magistrate in 2006, a position
she served until 2007 when she was promoted to Senior Resident Magistrate. From 2015 to 2018 she served as Senior Legal Officer at Lesotho Millennium Development Agency (LMDA). Also, she was a part-time lecturer at the Institute of Extra Mural Studies (IEMS), NUL.