SALC supported a case brought by private lawyer, Advocate Mole Kumalo, to compel the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) to permit a soldier being held in detention to access medical care, and thereafter, to be released on “open arrest” (a form of military bail) on the basis of his palliative needs.
The applicant is the wife of a soldier who was detained in Maseru Maximum Prison. She approached the High Court on an urgent basis to seek an order that a medical referral for specialist treatment that had been denied by the LDF, be complied with. The Court granted the order. After the soldier was referred for total hip replacement surgery, the LDF insisted on his return to prison where he was forced to sleep on the floor, unable to care for his wounds, to bath, attend to his hygienic needs or to manage his pain. The soldier’s wife again approached the High Court for an order that he be released on open arrest that his palliative needs could be provided for at home.
The Court heard argument on an urgent basis on 28 October 2016. A judgment was delivered on 31 October 2016 ordering the soldier’s release.