De­tained sol­dier de­nied hospi­tal visit

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing one of the 17 sol­diers de­tained at Maseru Max­i­mum se­cu­rity Prison for sus­pected mutiny are threat­en­ing le­gal ac­tion af­ter the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) re­fused to re­lease their client for med­i­cal at­ten­tion at Queen ’Mamo­hato Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal.

ad­vo­cate ’Mole Khu­malo of Le­gal Link Cham­bers says their client, Cap­tain se­abata Chaka, had been sched­uled to go for treat­ment at the hospi­tal last month but the re­quest was re­jected by LDF Com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli.

a let­ter the lawyers wrote to LtGen Kamoli on 24 March re­quest­ing Cap­tain Chaka’s re­fer­ral to the hospi­tal met with scorn, ad­vo­cate Khu­malo told the Le­sotho Times this week.

Cap­tain Chaka had been ad­vised by his doc­tor to go for fur­ther as­sess­ment and man­age­ment of his ail­ment which needs an or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon.

“Th­ese health prob­lems war­rant your ur­gent at­ten­tion to avail and/ or as­sist in re­fer­ring the same men­tioned client to Queen ’Mamo­hato Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal.

“we there­fore humbly re­quest your good of­fice to fa­cil­i­tate the re­fer­ral as per the let­ter from the doc­tor and humbly re­quest that this mat­ter is ur­gent be­cause it con­cerns the health of a hu­man be­ing which is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing ev­ery day,” reads the Le­gal Link Cham­bers let­ter ad­dressed to Lt-gen Kamoli.

The let­ter fur­ther im­plored the LDF to re­spond to the re­quest by 29 March.

How­ever, Lt-gen Kamoli re­sponded to the let­ter on 5 April, and noted: “as you should be aware, when­ever de­tainees await­ing trial are in need of med­i­cal at­ten­tion that is fa­cil­i­tated as a rou­tine ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ter.

“Be that as it may, ad­vise your client to se­cure more blan­kets to ad­dress the is­sue of need to keep him warm.

“He may even buy a freezer-suit so as to avoid the cold.”

But ad­vo­cate Khu­malo yes­ter­day said the re­sponse had left them with no choice but to seek le­gal re­course.

“we shall be left with no op­tion but to take this mat­ter to the courts of law for in­ter­ven­tion as our client ur­gently needs med­i­cal at­ten­tion,” said ad­vo­cate Khu­malo.

There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from the LDF.

Cap­tain Chaka was among sol­diers ar­rested be­tween May and June 2015 for al­legedly be­ing part of a foiled plot to top­ple the LDF com­mand.

The sol­diers are now be­ing tried in a Court Mar­tial.

Ad­vo­cate ’Mole Khu­malo.

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