Broth­ers ac­cused of bru­tal mur­ders

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

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.

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