By Tokiso TKay Nthebe
Conversations about marriage, divorce and matrimonial property remain a taboo for many in Lesotho. Questions like ‘Should I get married in Community of Property (COP) or out of Community of Property’ can become overwhelming for an ordinary bachelor or bachelorette. What happens when you get divorced?
I had a sit-down with Advocate Lerato Khutlang, an admitted advocate of the Courts of Law in Lesotho who is also very passionate about legal research, litigation monitoring and evaluation. She is currently a representative of the Young Lesotho Lawyer Society Committee and is interested in teaching communities about laws that regulate gender-based violence.
Tell us about Advocate Lerato Khutlang
Thank you so much TKay for having me. Well, I am a highly experienced litigant who is passionate about Family Law. I will tell you why I am so passionate about family law. Well, my legal career began in 2019 instantly after I obtained my LLB degree at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Faculty of Law.
Well, initially I was a criminal defence lawyer, and luckily enough I was afforded an opportunity by an international non-governmental organisation, usually referred to as WILSA (Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust). Those women inspired the love that was already hidden within me, passion for family law. My role at the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research Trust was amongst others being a family lawyer and a capacity builder.
Through this network, I also got the opportunity to represent them in a project referred to as KB (Karabo ea Bophelo), a project funded by the American government through the USAID and PEPFAR (The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) that predominantly deals with the prevention and post-care services for violence against children and gender-based violence. So, in a nutshell, Advocate Lerato Khutlang is a dynamite who is passionate about family law and human rights protection.
Can you tell us about My Sister’s Keeper Movement and International Extreme Sport?
Before I tell you about my role under the My Sister’s Keeper Movement project, firstly I would like to give your readers a brief background as to what is My Sister’s Keeper Movement. This is a project funded by the American government through the US Embassy. Its mission is to eradicate and prevent gender-based violence through the capacity building of stakeholders that are at the forefront of GBV prevention. I am a gender-based violence specialist and my role is to capacitate those stakeholders. To date, I have managed to capacitate the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) and the Lesotho Correctional Service, inmates, and members of the Taxi Associations. Also, important to mention that this project is implemented in Quthing, Leribe and Maseru.
I am also the co-founder of International Extreme Sports, a company incorporated with the International Youth Olympic leader, Advocate Qophe. We incorporated this company during our third year of study at the Faculty of Law at NUL. We entered the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), Standard Lesotho Bank and Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) Bacha Entrepreneurship program but unfortunately did not win.
My role under International Extreme Sports which trades as Lesotho Apogee Travel,and which is registered as Mahakoe Sports and Travel Intelligence Unit is to provide tourists with legal advice and ensure their rights are protected when they are in Lesotho.
How would you describe your relationship with money?
I have a very neutral relationship with money. Initially, I thought money was just an asset. My perspective about money changed after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s literature, Rich Dad, Poor Dad because I realised that you could buy assets and liabilities with it. For example, some people who are considered middle-class use the money to buy luxurious cars thinking they are buying assets, when in fact they are accumulating liabilities. Sadly, they find that they are spending more money than they are making from those vehicles. So, my relationship with money is as neutral as water. I can channel it to become either an asset or a liability. The choice is yours really.