Fa­ther tells court of son’s in­volve­ment in M4.3mil­lion rob­bery

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

An AC­COM­PLICE wit­ness in the trial of three men ac­cused of rob­bing First na­tional Bank (FNB) of over M4 mil­lion seven years ago on tues­day told the High Court how he hid the stolen money at his Khu­bet­soana home.

Sekho­nyana Jus­tice Ntl­habo (67) was giv­ing ev­i­dence in a case in which for­mer FNB em­ployee Lehlo­honolo tsikinyane and Lehlo­honolo ‘ Mote of Up­per thamae as well as Lisema Ramokhoa­bane from Ha-se­oli are charged with rob­bing the bank of M4.3 mil­lion on 26 Oc­to­ber 2008.

ntl­habo told pre­sid­ing judge, Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi, that the ac­cused and his son, Mon­a­heng who has also turned into an ac­com­plice wit­ness, held a meet­ing at his res­i­dence on the day of the rob­bery but was not aware of what they were dis­cussing.

“When i ar­rived home that day, i found my son, Mon­a­heng, with a group of men that i did not know at the time. they were in the sit­ting room,” he said.

“i did not at­tend the meet­ing be­cause when i came out of the bed­room, they had al­ready gone. i went to town to buy some gro­ceries and on my re­turn, i went into my bed­room to have some rest.

“When i was still rest­ing, i heard some foot­steps lead­ing to Mon­a­heng’s room and sud­denly, there was a sound as if some­thing heavy had been dropped on the floor. I heard the foot-steps again lead­ing to the exit door and I slept.”

ntl­habo fur­ther told the court he later re­ceived a call from Mon­a­heng re­quest­ing to meet him at a cer­tain res­i­dence in Khu­bet­soane and col­lect his clothes.

“When i ar­rived, he came out of a white car car­ry­ing a red trav­el­bag and ap­proached my ve­hi­cle. He opened the door of my ve­hi­cle and put the bag on the rear-seat. My son told me the bag con­tained money and that i should hide it where no- body could find it.

“He also told me i should go to his room and hide the money he had put un­der the bed. He was in a hurry and told me that he would ex­plain ev­ery­thing about the money later and he left,” ntl­habo said.

ntl­habo fur­ther told the court that when he went home, he found the money scat­tered next to his son’s bed.

“the money was in M20 000 bun­dles and it was Le­sotho cur­rency. i took the money and hid it in our wash­ing ma­chine, while i put the one in the red bag on a chair in my bed­room.

“i went to work the fol­low­ing day, but when i came back, my daugh­ter, nthabiseng, said Mon­a­heng had called and said i should give one Monki M25 000 from the money that was in his bed­room which i did.

“the fol­low­ing day, nthabiseng asked for M10 000 and i also obliged un­til the third day when i de­cided to hide the money where she would not see it.

“At the time, i did not know about Mon­a­heng’s where­abouts be­cause he only seemed to be com­mu­ni­cat­ing with nthabiseng.”

ntl­habo fur­ther said he only knew Mon­a­heng was in Bloem­fontein the fol­low­ing week when he called and asked for south African cur­rency.

“He said he only had Le­sotho cur­rency which he could not use in Bloem­fontein,” ntl­habo said. “When i re­fused to send nthabiseng to give him the money, he im­me­di­ately switched off the phone.

“that same week, nthabiseng took my grand­daugh­ter as she vis­ited her friend called Re­filoe in Moshoeshoe ii.

“But be­fore leav­ing home, she had told me to throw away the Cen­tral Pro­cess­ing Unit (CPU) that she had burnt near our toi­let,” he said.

the CPU had also been stolen from FNB and con­tained sur­veil­lance footage from the bank’s se­cu­rity cam­eras.

“One day when i ar­rived home from work, i re­ceived a call from a lady called ‘Mamo­jabeng telling me that her daugh­ter Mojabeng and nthabiseng, had been taken by the po­lice.

“i im­me­di­ately knew that i was the next to be ar­rested and in­deed, the po­lice ar­rived at my home at around mid­night. they ar­rested me and took me to Pitso Ground Po­lice sta­tion where they asked me about the stolen money from FNB.

“i told the po­lice that i was keep­ing the money at my home and had no prob­lem hand­ing it over to them.

“they locked me in a cell un­til the next day when they took me to my home to re­trieve the money,” ntl­habo told the court.

the trial still pro­ceeds and is pros­e­cuted by Crown Coun­sel Mot­sei tlali, while the de­fence team com­prises King’s Coun­sel Motiea teele and Haae Phoofolo well as Ad­vo­cate Mon­a­heng Rasekoai.

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