Cops sued for tor­ture

Lesotho Times - - News - Staff Re­porter

A Mokhot­long man, Se­fokoane Mo­tokoa, is claim­ing M350 000 for tor­ture he al­legedly suf­fered at the hands of the po­lice.

Mo­tokoa claims he was se­verely as­saulted on 2 Septem­ber 2007 by Mokhot­long po­lice who were try­ing to re­cover a firearm lo­cal vil­lagers al­leged be­longed to him.

Nar­rat­ing his al­leged or­deal be­fore High Court judge, Mase­shophe Hla­joane on Tues­day this week, Mo­tokoa said he was left “dis­fig­ured” af­ter be­ing beaten by a gun noz­zle by the po­lice, hence his de­mand for com­pen­sa­tion.

Mo­tokoa also told the court he was hu­mil­i­ated and de­graded by the po­lice ac­tion on the fate­ful day and suf­fered in­juries, which in­cluded a frac­ture on the right leg.

Through his lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Motiea Teele, Mo­tokoa is now de­mand­ing M140 000 for pain, shock and suf­fer­ing; M150 000 for dis­fig­ure­ment; M50 000 for con­tu­melia and M10 000 for med­i­cal ex­penses.

In his ad­dress be­fore the court, Pros­e­cu­tor Let­sie Moshoeshoe said, “the plain­tiff’s house had been be­sieged by vil­lagers who had guns and were shout­ing thieves, thieves”.

When the po­lice came, he add- ed, they found vil­lagers pelt­ing the plain­tiff’s home with stones.

Mo­tokoa was then ar­rested by con­sta­bles Lerotholi Mo­lahli and Mos­ito Mohloboli, the court was fur­ther told.

In the law­suit, Mo­tokoa has cited the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral as first and sec­ond re­spon­dents, re­spec­tively.

Ad­vo­cate Motiele Teele, who is rep­re­sent­ing Mo­tokoa in the case, how­ever, ac­cused Mo­lahli of crip­pling his client.

“You did not just in­jure him; you dis­fig­ured his leg. This man was in­jured by a gun.

“Where did you hear that stones thrown by the vil­lagers in­jured him?” asked Ad­vo­cate Teele.

“You as­saulted the man, and hav­ing done so, you want to cover-up and say there was a fight be­tween the vil­lagers, which led to his in­juries.

You had no cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion that he had a gun. You should have been charged for a crim­i­nal of­fense. We ar­gue that the de­fen­dants are li­able for their said ac­tions.”

Mean­while, three wit­nesses have so far tes­ti­fied in the case, which was first heard briefly on Tues­day be­fore Jus­tice Hla­joane post­poned it to yes­ter­day. Jus­tice Hla­joane then post­poned the mat­ter yes­ter­day to 4 Septem­ber 2015.

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