Ma­supha faces the boot

Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner told to revert to pre­vi­ous post or go on early re­tire­ment.

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

ACT­ING Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha Ma­supha was yes­ter­day given an ul­ti­ma­tum to ei­ther revert to his “old” po­si­tion of Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice or go on early re­tire­ment, the Le­sotho Times has learnt.

Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha was ap­pointed to the top post in Novem­ber last year, tak­ing over from Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana who had just been sent on an in­def­i­nite leave-of-ab­sence as part of the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord (MSA) signed on 23 Oc­to­ber 2014.

Un­der the MSA bro­kered by the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC), Com­mis­sioner Tšooana, Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) Com­man­der Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao and Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli — who had been fired by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane but was re­fus­ing to va­cate the post, cit­ing the dis­missal was il­le­gal — were re­quired to go to an African or Com­mon­wealth coun­try on spe­cial leave.

The de­par­ture sought to al­low the restora­tion of peace be­tween the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) and LDF, whose con­tin­ued feud­ing — mainly due to per­son­al­ity clashes be­tween Com­mis­sioner Tšooana and Lt Gen Kamoli — had brought Le­sotho to the brink of civil war.

The ab­sence of the trio was also meant to en­sure peace pre­vailed in Le­sotho in the runup to the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions.

In the ab­sence of the three men, Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha was sup­posed to lead the LMPS but ac­cord­ing to sources privy to the case, he had al­legedly since fallen out with Dr Tha­bane, as well as Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) leader Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane — the pre­mier’s ally in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Dr Tha­bane’s All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC), BNP and the Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) led by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, formed a coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter the 26 May 2012 gen­eral elec­tion had failed to pro­duce an out­right ma­jor­ity win­ner. How­ever, the al­liance has since col­lapsed due to a bit­ter turf-war be­tween Dr Tha­bane and Mr Mets­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the sources, Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha (51) had been caught in the cross­fire of the in­fight­ing and was be­ing ac­cused of be­ing sym­pa­thetic to Mr Mets­ing, hence his re­moval as Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner and im­me­di­ate re­place­ment by Com­mis­sioner Holomo Moli­beli (48).

Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli’s ap­point­ment let­ter dated 4 Fe­bru­ary 2015 and signed by Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary Moahloli Mphaka reads: “It is with a lot of plea­sure that I in­form you that it has pleased His Majesty King Let­sie III, pursuant to sec­tion 147 (3) of the con­sti­tu­tion of Le­sotho 1993 and sec­tion 5 of the Po­lice Ser­vice Act 1998, and act­ing in ac­cor­dance with the ad­vice of the Prime Min­is­ter, to ap­point you as Act­ing Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice dur­ing the pe­riod of ab­sence from of­fice by the Com­mis­sioner, with ef­fect from 4 Fe­bru­ary 2015. I congratulate you and wish you all suc­cess in this new as­sign­ment”.

The Le­sotho Times was un­able to ob­tain a copy of Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha’s let­ter, but ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Po­lice Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (PS) Re­filoe Matekane, he had been given seven days in which to de­cide which route to take.

“Ntate Ma­supha was given an op­tion of choos­ing be­tween re­vert­ing to his po­si­tion of Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice or go­ing for early re­tire­ment. He is ex­pected to have de­cided which route to take, within seven work­ing days ef­fec­tive from to­day (yes­ter­day). That is all I can say at the mo­ment re­gard­ing this is­sue,” Mr Matekane said last night.

On the other hand, Mr Mphaka would not com­ment on the is­sue and re­ferred the Le­sotho Times to Mr Matekane.

Re­peated at­tempts to get a com­ment from Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha were not suc­cess­ful yes­ter­day.

Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha, who was born on 31 May 1964, joined the LMPS on 1 Jan­uary 1986 as a trooper and was sup­posed to re­tire in 2019 at the age of 55.

Af­ter ris­ing through the ranks — from trooper he was pro­moted to sergeant, then In­spec­tor, Se­nior In­spec­tor, As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner and Deputy Com­mis­sioner. Com­mis­sioner Ma­supha has be­come syn­ony­mous with the LMPS.

On the other hand, Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli, who was born on 23 Fe­bru­ary 1969, joined the LMPS on 10 May 1988, also as a trooper or constable, as the low­est rank of the LMPS is now re­ferred to.

He was then pro­moted to Sergeant, then In­spec­tor, Se­nior In­spec­tor, Su­per­in­ten­dent, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent and Deputy Com­mis­sioner.

PO­LICE Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana and his deputy Ma­supha Ma­supha in this file pic­ture.

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