The highly respected judge of the Lesotho High Court, Justice ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane, died on Sunday at Medi-clinic in Bloemfontein after a short illness.
Hlajoane, who presided over criminal and civil cases at the Lesotho courts, was known for her no-nonsense attitude to the proceedings and her thorough knowledge of the law. Many lawyers and prosecutors who appeared before her to argue cases knew that they had to be in their their legal minds. At the time of her passing, Hlajoane was expected to resume her duties after an illness it was thought she would recover quickly from.
A spokeswoman of the Lesotho Judiciary, ‘Mabohlokoa Mapikitla, said the death of Hlajoane had shocked the entire judiciary, as well as the legal fraternity and the whole country as Basotho had expected her to recover from her illness.
“I wish to inform you with regret of the death of Justice Alidah ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane. She died on 2nd March 2019 at Medi-clinic Bloemfontein after an illness for a number of months,” said Mapikitla. She said that Hlajoane’s 47 year illustrious career shockingly came to an end on Sunday. And that all court activities had been suspended in honour of Hlajoane.
Hlajoane started her career as a Field Assistant in 1972 at the Bureau of Statistics but later on in the same year started work as a Court Clerk. She was appointed Senior Court Clerk in 1980 and Magistrate 3rd Class the same year. Hlajoane was promoted to the office of Resident Magistrate in 1991. From 1993 to 2001 she became Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission and Registrar of the Appeal Court.
She has been a judge of the high court from 2001. Her untimely death, according to many who knew her, has cut short a brilliant carrer.
A Memorial Service in honour of Justice Hlajoane’s will be held at the High Court later today (Friday).
Requiescat in Pace