Phaila v. Director General National Security Services

The applicant, a married woman, was a member of the National Security Services stationed at Maseru. On 4 May 2007 she received a letter from the respondent notifying her of her transfer from Maseru to Mafeteng, though the transfer was not implemented. The transfer letter followed a complaint of sexual harassment lodged by the applicant against one of her superiors. The applicant had lodged the complaint in April 2007, and it was duly attended to. A Commission of Enquiry was set up to investigate the matter, but no report was published nor furnished to the applicant despite her numerous requests. The applicant argued that, among other reasons, the transfer was unlawful because it was not bona fide and was intended to serve as a punishment for lodging the complaint of sexual harassment. The applicant stated that she had no problem leaving Maseru but that she had only received two weeks’ notice in which to do so. The respondent did not deny that the complaint of sexual harassment or its failure to furnish the applicant with a report. The High Court found that the transfer was mala fide as the applicant was not afforded a hearing prior to such transfer, the report was unreasonably withheld, and she was not afforded enough time to prepare herself and her family to move to that new station. The court declared the decision to transfer the applicant to Mafeteng null and void.



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