Fam­ily de­mands an­swers

Lesotho Times - - News - Mot­samai Mokotjo

A HA RAM­A­BANTA fam­ily is de­mand­ing an­swers af­ter their 38-year-old son died in po­lice cus­tody on Christ­mas Eve.

moeti Shokhoe’s un­cle man­gate Shokhoe told the Le­sotho Times this week that he be­lieves some­thing hap­pened to his nephew af­ter he was ar­rested on 24 De­cem­ber 2015 on charges of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm dur­ing a famo-re­lated brawl.

moeti was a mem­ber of the mafeteng-linked famo gang, terene, which has been fight­ing an­other group nick­named Seakhi for supremacy with the en­su­ing vi­o­lence claim­ing dozens of lives since 2009.

mr Shokhoe told the Le­sotho times on tues­day that moeti was picked up by the po­lice on his way from Ha Ram­a­banta where he had vis­ited his father.

“On Christ­mas eve, moeti went to Ha Ram­a­banta to take gro­ceries and clothes to his old man. He was ac­com­pa­nied by a few friends,” said mr Shokhoe.

“As they were go­ing back to Roma, their car was stopped by the po­lice and moeti was ar­rested.”

He said the fam­ily’s en­quiries to the Ha Ram­a­banta po­lice about moeti’s where­abouts were fruit­less as they were told he had been re­lo­cated to Flight One po­lice sta­tion in mazenod.

“moeti’s father and wife then went to Flight One po­lice sta­tion, but were not al­lowed to see him.

“they were only told by the po­lice of­fi­cers that moeti had re­quested for some of his clothes to be fetched from his house,” said mr Shokhoe.

“When moeti’s father and wife re­turned with the clothes, they were still not al­lowed to see him and told to leave them at the po­lice sta­tion.

“How­ever, on the next day, the po­lice vis­ited the coun­cil­lor for Ha Roma and no­ti­fied him of moeti’s death with­out ex­plain­ing the cause of his demise. the coun­cil­lor then came on his own to the Shokhoe homestead to break the news to us.”

mr Shokhoe said they were told by the coun­cil­lor that moeti’s body was in mor­tu­ary in Roma where a post-mortem was be­ing con­ducted by a govern­ment pathol­o­gist. How­ever, he said the post mortem re­port did not cor­re­late with moeti’s “very vis­i­ble” in­juries.

“the in­juries on his body showed that he had been beaten to a pulp since he was bruised all over and his skin had a green­ish ap­pear­ance,” said mr Shokhoe.

“the pathol­o­gist only said moeti had been in the early stages of a tu­ber­cu­lo­sis in­fec­tion, but de­nied that my nephew had wounds that showed he had been as­saulted.”

He said the fam­ily would look for an­other pathol­o­gist for a se­cond opin­ion since they did not agree with the re­sults of the post-mortem.

Asked if his nephew was in­volved in the bloody famo turf wars, mr Shokhoe said moeti ac­tu­ally tried to bring peace be­tween the Seakhi and terene mem­bers.

“He tried to stop the brawl be­tween Seakhi and terene mem­bers. Even if moeti was ac­cused of as­sault­ing some­one, he did not de­serve to die,” he said.

“moeti should have been brought be­fore a court of law and made to an­swer for the charges lev­elled against him. All the other peo­ple who were in­volved in the fight are still alive.”

Po­lice spokesper­son, Se­nior In­spec­tor Clifford molefe, said moeti had been on the run over charges of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm dur­ing a fight.

“the de­ceased was on the po­lice’s wanted list af­ter he man­aged to es­cape cap­ture, while his three ac­com­plices where ar­rested some­time last month,” said Se­nior In­spec­tor molefe.

“the po­lice did not kill him. the post-mortem was done, and serves as proof that he was not killed. the fam­ily is at lib­erty to look for their own pathol­o­gists.”

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