Bochabela Transport Operation and Others v Traffic Commissioner and Others (C OF A (CIV) N0.04/10 )

Media Neutral Citation: 
[2010] LSCA 3
Judgment Date: 
23 April, 2010

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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF LESOTHO




C OF A (CIV) N0.04/10

In the matter between:



BOCHABELA TRANSPORT OPERATION FIRST APPELLANT

LIKILA TAXI ASSOCIATION SECOND APPELLANT

KOPANO HLAPISI THIRD APPELLANT

MOOROSI MATJELE FOURTH APPELLANT



AND



TRAFFIC COMISSIONER FIRST RESPONDENT

TRAFFIC BOARD SECOND RESPONDENT

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY MINISTRY

OF WORKS AND TRANSPORT FOURTH RESPONDENT

ATTORNEY GENERAL FIFTH RESPONDENT





CORAM: RAMODIBEDI, P

SCOTT, JA

HOWIE, JA

HEARD: 15 APRIL 2010

DELIVERED: 23 APRIL 2010

SUMMARY


Road Transportation – F Permits – High Court application for declaration and mandamus – Mandamus sought against Traffic Commissioner instead of Road Transport Board – Board not cited – No evidence that any permit application made, or refused.




JUDGMENT



HOWIE, JA




[1] The first two appellants are registered taxi associations. Appellants three and four are their respective individual members who are taxi operators. Until late last year appellants three and four each held an F Permit. This is a permit issued under the Road Transport Regulations 1981, as amended, in terms of a Lesotho – Southern African Customs Union Memorandum of Understanding regulating cross-border taxi services between Lesotho and South Africa. Intent upon renewal of their F permits, the individual appellants approached various officials but to no avail. All the appellants then brought an application in the High Court aimed at the issue or renewal of an F permit for each operator.


[2] The cited respondents (apart from the Principal Secretary and Minister of Works and Transport, and the Attorney-General) were the Traffic Commissioner (as first respondent) and the Traffic Board (as second respondent).


[3] The orders sought were, respectively, a declarator that first respondent’s act of refusing to renew the permits was unlawful and a mandamus requiring him to issue them.


[4] The application was dismissed by Mahase, J, hence this appeal.


[5] The issues which arose preceding the application are best illustrated by the contents of two letters. On 6 November 2009 Adv. L.A. Molati, for the appellants, wrote to the first respondent stating that the permits were, without valid reason, not being renewed. He accordingly demanded urgent renewal, failing which, appropriate relief would be sought in the High Court. The first respondent responded by letter dated 10 November. He pointed out that his office did not deal with permits which were the exclusive responsibility of the Road Transport Board. He ended by saying that the complaints had been lodged with the wrong authority.


[6] Notwithstanding that clear intimation the appellants sought their essential relief against the first respondent. In addition, the appellants failed to cite the Road Transport Board. Their application was accordingly procedurally flawed.


[7] The appellants’ problems do not end there. There is nothing in the record to show that they made an application for the renewal of F permits or that any application by them was refused. Having failed to establish those essential elements of the case they sought to advance, their application could not succeed and was rightly dismissed.


[8] The appeal is dismissed with costs.


___________________________

C.T. HOWIE

JUSTICE OF APPEAL






I agree: _________________________ M.M. RAMODIBEDI

PRESIDENT OF THE COURT

OF APPEAL






I agree: _________________________

D.G. SCOTT

JUSTICE OF APPEAL





For the Appellant: Adv. Molati


For the Respondent: Adv. Sekati