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Former Minister off the hook in rape case

Publish date: 12 August 2019
Issue Number: 836
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Lesotho

A former Lesotho Minister accused of raping a 17-year-old orphan is now free after negotiating an out of court deal to build a house for the victim and pay her $65 in monthly maintenance in a seemingly corrupt judicial settlement condemned by top legal experts. The Lesotho Times reports that Mootsi Lehata, who served in the Law and Constitutional Affairs portfolio under the previous coalition of then Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili from 2015 to 2017. He was accused of impregnating the teenager in Matsieng in January 2018. The out of court settlement was endorsed by Chief Magistrate Manyathela Kolobe. Human rights lawyer Lineo Tsikoane slammed the state for allowing Lehata to go unpunished. 'Lesotho was gradually becoming the rape capital of the world. We trust the state to protect us from all criminal activity; not to aid and abet criminals. In this case the state has betrayed the rights of women,' he said.

Full Lesotho Times report