Jailed ex-CE opens case against judge

Lisle Daverin
Business Day (Johannesburg)
July 11, 2002

The former CE of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Masupha Sole, who was jailed for 18 years for corruption, has begun legal action against the judge in his case.

Sole has given notice of a constitutional case filed with the registrar of the Lesotho High Court calling on it to declare Judge Brendan Cullinan’s appointment to the bench to be in breach of the kingdom’s constitution.

The grounds of his application was that the country’s Judicial Services Commission had erred in writing to the king advising him to appoint Cullinan as an acting judge.

The commission specifically advised the king to appoint Cullinan to preside over this matter. Sole said the commission was not competent to advise the king that Cullinan be appointed to sit on his, or any other, case. Other high court judges had not, he said, declined to preside over the case.

Sole has also challenged the salary to which Cullinan was entitled. He said it was “hugely in excess of the monthly salary paid to the Chief Justice of Lesotho”.

He said Cullinan also enjoyed other benefits other judges did not receive – such as a tax-free salary. It is alleged that the justice received R10736 a day. A date has not yet been set for the hearing of the case, as the court was on winter vacation.

Judge Cullinan convicted Sole on 12 counts of bribery and two of fraud, and sentenced him to a total of 57 years’ imprisonment of which he would in effect serve 18.

The charge involved R6m which Sole received from international firms for the awarding of lucrative contracts for the construction of the vast Lesotho Highlands water project that supplies water to SA. Sapa

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