Brothers accused of brutal murders
A LESOTHO Mounted Police Service constable on Tuesday told the High Court how two Mohale’s Hoek men allegedly killed their grandmother and aunt whom they accused of witchcraft.
Giving evidence before Justice Teboho Moiloa, Constable Nhlapho said the suspects, Rameno Sekete (29) and Retšelisitsoe Sekete (26), surrendered themselves at Mpharane Police Station in Mohale’s Hoek on 25 October 2009 soon after stabbing the elderly women to death.
The suspects are brothers and according to the officer, they allegedly confessed to killing their two relatives for causing them sleepless nights.
“On the fateful day, I was on duty at Mpharane Police Station when the two suspects arrived riding on their horses.
“Upon arrival, they told me that they had killed their elderly grandparents. I could not believe what they were saying so I asked them to take me to where the corpses were. We then travelled together Ha-mothe village in Mohale’s Hoek district where they pointed at the two dead bodies of ‘Manthabiseng (Sekete) and ‘Manthuseng (Sekete).
“They told me that they were responsible for the death of their two relatives who were lying dead in their respective houses. Manthabiseng was their grandmother, and ‘Manthuseng their aunt.”
Asked by Crown Counsel Teleha Joala whether the police used any excessive force or threats to make the two confess to the killing, Constable Nhlapho said: “They voluntar- ily and freely led me to the scene of crime.
“They took me to the village after I had told them that I did not believe what they were saying. That’s how they ended up leading me to the crime scene; there was no pressure on them whatsoever to force them into this confession. It was only after I had seen the dead bodies that I charged them with murder.”
Constable Nhlapho also told the court that the following day, he took the two brothers to the Mohale’s Hoek Magistrate’s Court where they also voluntarily confessed to the killing.
“I asked them if they could narrate the same story to the magistrate and their answer was, Yes. I then took them to the Magistrate’s Court where they made a similar confession,” he said.
However, the suspects’ lawyer Lerato Makholela said the officer had not clearly informed his clients about the implications of their confessions.
“My clients made the confessions because the officer failed to explain the consequences of such admissions.
“If you had properly advised them of their rights, they could not have made any confession before the magistrate.
“I put it to you that it is not true that you cautioned them.
“In fact, you told them that if they confessed to the magistrate they would stand a chance of getting a lenient sentence for the offence they had committed,” he said.
But Nhlapho was adamant that he cautioned the duo that whatever they were saying would be used as evidence against them during the trial.
The case continues.