Set­back for de­tained soldier

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

HIGH Court judge Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi will pre­side over a case in which Cor­po­ral Mon­tšuoe Mot­seko of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) is fight­ing to be re­leased from the Maseru Max­i­mum se­cu­rity Prison.

The trial, set for 27 Au­gust, is the re­sult of Cor­po­ral Mot­seko’s ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion filed be­fore the court last week in which he was seek­ing an or­der com­pelling LDF Com­man­der Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli and the LDF’S Mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence Di­rec­tor Lieu­tenant Colonel Tumo Lekhooa to set him free.

Cor­po­ral Mot­seko’s ar­gu­ment is his de­ten­tion since 25 June this year with­out be­ing tried in the Court Mar­tial is af­fect­ing his fam­ily since his wife has to leave for stud­ies at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) as the aca­demic year starts this month.

The soldier also fears if he is not re­leased, his wife would have to aban­don her stud­ies.

The case had been set for yesterday, but was moved to 27 Au­gust af­ter it was dis­cov­ered the judge would be oc­cu­pied un­til that date.

In an af­fi­davit to mo­ti­vate his re­lease, Cor­po­ral Mot­seko made damn­ing al­le­ga­tions that he was forced to im­pli­cate the late for­mer LDF com­man­der Bri­gadier Maa­parankoe Ma­hao and Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice ser­vice Com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana in a plot to top­ple the army com­man­der.

Ac­cord­ing to the army author­i­ties, the mutiny was planned be­tween Au­gust 2014 and May this year.

The al­le­ga­tions re­sulted in the ar­rest of more than 50 sol­diers, among them Cor­po­ral Mot­seko.

In his af­fi­davit, Cor­po­ral Mot­seko al­leges he was promised amnesty from the mutiny charges if he agreed to tes­tify and im­pli­cate Bri­gadier Ma­hao and Com­mis­sioner Tšooana dur­ing the im­pend­ing Court Mar­tial.

How­ever, the south­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity has re­solved that the Court Mar­tial pro­ceed­ings should be sus­pended to al­low a Com­mis­sion of in­quiry the re­gional bloc es­tab­lished last month, to com­plete its probe into the coun­try’s se­cu­rity and po­lit­i­cal trou­bles.

Cor­po­ral Mot­seko fur­ther stated he re­peat­edly re­fused to im­pli­cate any­body when per­suaded by Ma­jor Bu­lane sechele.

The cor­po­ral fur­ther said he had only agreed to im­pli­cate the duo and other sol­diers to avoid be­ing tor­tured again by his col­leagues who had ar­rested him and al­legedly tor­tured him at setib­ing army base.

High Court judge Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi.

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