Lesotho. According to
Countryaah, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane was involved in a
serious conflict with a leading judge during the year.
Michael Ramodibedi, head of the country's appellate court,
was accused of crippling the judicial system after a dispute
with colleagues. Ramodibedi accused the prime minister of
trying to force him to step down in violation of the
Constitution. The case was referred after several legal
trips to the Supreme Court. Ramodibedi also has high
judicial posts in Botswana and Swaziland.
In November, the Prime Minister dismissed the Minister of
Water and Energy accused of fraud. The alleged crimes, which
Timothy Thahane denies, were committed when he was finance
minister in a previous government.
Lesotho's good reputation on the equality front was a
thorn. The country has for several years e.g. ranked high on
a list of gender equality compiled by the World Economic
Forum. In May, the Constitutional Court ruled that a woman
cannot inherit a chieftaincy title. The Court referred to
customary law. The case involved Princess Senate Masupha,
Lesotho's acting ambassador to Rome.
According to customary law, the widow can, after a
chieftain, act as acting chieftain until a younger male heir
can take over. Masupha considered himself discriminated
against. As the chieftain's first-born child, she wanted to
take over the title since her mother, who had been a deputy
for over ten years, died. Younger brothers opposed and
supported the court. Legal judges believed that there was a
trend in the region where customary law otherwise had to