By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU –  The High Court suffers a loss with the passing on of one of its judges.

Judge Hopolang Nathane passed on last week Tuesday night at the hospital.

“It is with deep sorrow and sympathy that we announce the death of Hon. Judge Hopolang Nathane,” reads the Judiciary’s obituary notice.

According to the Judiciary, he succumbed to illness.

He was the senior judge at the Northern Division of the High Court in Leribe where he was serving with Judge Gugu Mokhoro. He was dispensing justice to the three Northern districts including Leribe, Butha-Buthe and Mokhotlong.

In 2021, Judge Nathane was among the seven judges to be interviewed and subsequently appointed to the bench upon successfully passing the interviews.

Those were Judge ‘Makampong Mokhoro, Judge Stephen Kopo, Judge Tšeliso Mokoko, Judge ‘Mafelile Ralebese, ‘Maliepollo Makhetha and Judge ‘Mabatšoeneng Hlaele.

Informative Newspaper established that he had been sick since January this year. He was also absent during the ceremonial opening of the High Court on February 1.

Before joining the bench, Judge Nathane was a lawyer. He was also conferred the title of King’s Counsel (KC) by His Majesty the King.

Outside the legal profession, he had served as the President of the Lioli Football Club.

Reacting to this loss to the Judiciary, the Lesotho Law Society President Advocate Lintle Tuke says they are saddened by his untimely passing.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss, as Justice Nathane was not only a dedicated and brilliant member of the judiciary but also a respected figure within the legal profession. His contributions to the Northern Division of the High Court were invaluable, and his absence will undoubtedly be felt across the entire judicial system in Lesotho.

“At this time, our thoughts are with Justice Nathane’s family, colleagues, and all those who had the privilege of knowing him. We acknowledge the significant impact he made during his time on the bench and his exemplary service to the people of Lesotho,” he condoles.

As the Law Society, Advocate Tuke says they stand ready to support and work alongside the judiciary and legal community during this “difficult period of loss”.

It is not clear at this stage whether the Chief Justice will send another judge to Leribe or through the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) advertise that post.

He is the third judge to pass away since 2020, after Judge Lebohang Molete and Judge Lisebo Chaka Makhooane.

Today, the High Court in Maseru will hold a memorial service in his honour.

Judge Nathane will be accorded an official funeral and will be laid to rest on May 3rd at Ha-Molemane, Teyateyaneng.