Earlier this month, Ramodibedi lost his last battle to stave off the impeachment process when five judges of the appeal court in Maseru held against his claim that the preliminary steps in setting up the tribunal were flawed.

Ramodibedi, who has for some years concurrently held the position of chief justice of Swaziland and president of Lesotho’s highest court, was a few weeks away from facing an impeachment tribunal in Maseru on charges that included alleged insurance fraud and other charges of improper behaviour in Lesotho. A number of the charges also related to actions in Swaziland, where his period as chief justice has been dogged by controversy.

In Swaziland, Ramodibedi has become an increasingly controversial figure by, for example, issuing warrants of arrest for activists, lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist Bheki Makhubu, who criticised him in the media.

There’s also the question of whether Lesotho’s prosecution services will now charge Ramodibedi directly in connection with an alleged insurance fraud. The police, after some investigation, had apparently been waiting for the outcome of the impeachment.

According to these allegations, Ramodibedi instructed his driver, a member of the security forces, to say that he had been driving Ramodibedi’s official vehicle at the time of an accident. On the strength of the driver’s statement, the insurance company paid out almost R500 000 for repairs, while Lesotho’s government paid the excess.

Source: Mail & Guardian