Matlanyane and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions (CRI/APN/192/2004 )

Case No: 
CRI/APN/192/2004
Media Neutral Citation: 
[2004] LSHC 97
Judgment Date: 
19 August, 2004

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CRI/APN/192/2004

IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO


In the matter between:

LETLATSA MATLANYANE 1st PETITIONER

MOTETE TEKANE 2nd PETITIONER

TSEPO SEOTSANYANE 3rd PETITIONER

And

THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS RESPONDENT


JUDGMENT


Delivered by the Honourable Mr Justice T. Nomngcongo on the 19th day of August 2004


This is an application for bail. It was duly served on the respondent (the D.P.P.) and Ms Dlangamandla duly appeared before Hlajoane J. indicating that the application was opposed. The matter was post-poned to enable the respondent to file opposing papers. On the post-poned date the papers had not been filed and there was no appearance for the respondent. The matter was post-poned further for hearing. It was heard in the absence of any opposition and counsel for the crown again had not shown up .


The three petitioners are charged with armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. The firearm obviously is presumably the one that was used in the commission of the robbery: they happened on the same day and the robbery was an armed one by all three petitioners. I can safely make the assumption therefore. This disposes of the point made by Mr Pitso in his very brief heads of argument that the charge does not disclose the weapon used.


The offence of robbery attracts the provisions of section 109A of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (amendment) Act No.10 of 2002. This court has had occasion to remark that it is not enough in motivating a bail


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application under this section to lay before court bare facts which do not inform the court what is exceptional about the circumstances of the application and why it is necessary in the interests of justice to release him on bail. (See PHEELLO SENATLA V DPP. CIV/APN/191/04 and LEHLOHONOLO KELANE V DPP. CIV/APN/78/O4 for example).


The applicant are very brief about their circumstance: They did not commit the offence and they were on their way home from an initiation ceremony when, passing through Mafeteng urban area they were arrested by the police. What is exceptional about the scenario pointed by the applicants here. How does the court get satisfied that the interests of justice require the release of applicant with this almost flippant presentation of the applicant's circumstances.


A startling argument was raised in the heads of argument that "Sec. 2 -109 A (1) of Criminal Procedure and Evidence (amendment) Act No. 10 of


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2002 is inconsistent with section 18(1) & 19 of the CONSTITUTION OF LESOTHO." These sections prohibit discrimination and inequality before the law. In what respect the impugned law is inconsistent with these provisions is not said and I honestly cannot myself see how it may be so. There is no merit in this unmotivated argument.


Bail is refused.


T.NOMNGCONGO

JUDGE


For Petitioners : Mr Pitso

For Respondents : Ms Dlangamandla


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