Maseru – Former mayor ‘Mampho Thabane-Libate, who was toppled in May in a ‘no-confidence’ vote by fellow councillors, has filed a lawsuit in court challenging her ouster.
Thabane-Libate, had only been in office for eight months when she was relieved of her duties after 10 out of 19 councillors voted for her immediate dismissal.
She was dismissed on allegations of abuse of office, incompetence, misconduct and failure or refusal to implement lawful council decisions.
She was then replaced by Khubetsoana Councillor Nthabeleng Ntšasa.
In her court papers filed on 7th July 2021, the Maseru City Council, Maseru Town Clerk, Mr Moeko Maboee and Mayor Ntšasa are cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents respectively.
“The resolution of the meeting of the 19th to remove me as the Mayor and to vote 3rd Respondent into the office of the Mayor of the city of Maseru be declared irregular and therefore of no force and effect pendente lite.
“The election of the 3rd Respondent be declared null and void on account of irregularity of the processes followed in voting me out of office and voting 3rd Respondent into office of Mayor of the city of Maseru pendente lite,” reads the papers.
Thabane-Libate also wants the court to make an order that she be allowed to return to her previous position as Mayor and resume her duties. She also wants Mayor Ntšasa to return all benefits “unduly paid to her to date in an office that she erroneously and irregularly assumed responsibility over.”
She also demands that she be paid costs of suit and such other alternative relief that the court might see as just and fair.
Representing the Applicant, Advocate Adolph Boyce Thabane of the Makhoakhoa Chambers, also states that Thabane-Libate was erroneously and prematurely released from her office as her tenure would only be ending in October 2021.
“She currently suffers prejudice as a result. If the Honorable court does not grant her leave to proceed on urgent basis, she will suffer irreparable harm as ordinary court process may be so protracted that her term of office might come to an end before she is granted the relief she is seeking.”
The 10 councillors who voted for Thabane-Libate’s removal were Tlali Lebesa (Thetsane), Thato Khechane (Ha- Leqele), Lebohang Ramathe (Stadium Area), Tholang Sefojane (Motimposo), Thabo Hlehlisi (Lithoteng), Busetsa Khutlisi (Thamae), ‘Mataelo Matsoso (Qoaling) and Hlathe Majara (Khubetsoana). Mpho Moloi (Maseru Central) and Nthabeleng Ntšasa (Khubetsoana).