IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter between:
SEIPATI PITSO 1st APPLICANT
TEBELLO PITSO 2nd APPLICANT
THE MIRROR NEWSPAPERS 3rd APPLICANT
THE EDITOR (THE MIRROR NEWSPAPER) 4th APPLICANT
TLALI CASWELL 5th APPLICANT
VINCENT MOEKETSE MALEBO 1st DEFENDANT
THE MESSENGER OF COURT 2nd DEFENDANT
Delivered by the Honourable Mr Justice T. Nomngcongo on the 21st February. 2006
This is an application wherein the second applicant seeks an order for the restoration to herself of property that was attached in her possession by the deputy sheriff- the second respondent herein pursuant to a judgment of this court against the third to the fifth respondents. She is, according to the founding affidavit the proprietor of the third applicant. She claims that she is duly authorized by the other applicants to bring these proceedings. Such authority is challenged by the respondents.
Second applicant says in her founding affidavit that the property attached belongs to the first applicant who left it in her custody when she went to Botswana. Apart from that, the applicant does not say why it is she rather than the owner who seeks relief.
When the authority of a litigant to bring legal proceedings is challenged, the simple response to the challenge is to produce that authority and in the case of a fictitious person a resolution by the governing body of the person.
In the present case the applicant is the proprietor of the 3rd applicant and therefore presumably also the employer of the 4th applicant. I fail to see why it was impossible to secure a resolution from her own newspaper and a supporting affidavit from her own employee. She appears to share the same surname as the lst applicant. She does not say either why she is unable to make a supporting affidavit.
The owner of a thing is generally the person who has a vested interest in a thing such as will entitle him to bring a vindicatory action in respect of such a thing. Exceptions may occur such as a bona fide possessor who has dispoiled.
See Beck's Theory and Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions – Isaacs 5th Edition p. 2.
In the present case it is claimed there is an owner who lives in Botswane - a day's journey from seat of this court. She does not sue on her own behalf but is represented by someone else. That someone else (the 2nd applicant) is not claiming that he has been despoiled. In my view, in the circumstances he has no locus standi in judicio.
That disposes of this application and I do not find it necessary to consider the other arguments advanced on behalf of both parties. The application is dismissed with costs.
Mr Thulo : For Applicant
Mr Ntlhoki : For Respondent