Top cops’ cor­rup­tion trial post­poned

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE High Court trial of three se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers and a busi­ness­woman charged with bribery has been post­poned to 16 - 18 Au­gust 2016.

Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice (DCP) Tumelo Moseme, As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Dlamini Mphatšoane and Thakane Theko are fac­ing charges of bribery over a con­tract to sup­ply po­lice equip­ment worth M776 000.

The trio is jointly charged with busi­ness­woman Rebecca Makhalemele whose com­pa­nies — Linare Cloth­ing and New Vi- sion Sup­pli­ers — were the al­leged con­duits through which the crimes were com­mit­ted be­tween 2009 and 2011.

Ac­cord­ing to the main charge of bribery, the three of­fi­cers al­legedly ac­cepted bribe pay­ments in their ca­pac­i­ties as Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) em­ploy­ees be­tween June 2009 and 2011.

The pay­ments, the charge sheet states, were al­legedly meant to en­sure the con­tract for the sup­ply of cam­ou­flage uni­forms, berets and com­bat jack­ets to the LMPS would be awarded to Ms Makhalemele’s busi­nesses.

In the al­ter­na­tive charge to the main count, the three of­fi­cers are charged with cor­rup­tion for al­legedly al­low­ing them­selves to be in­flu­enced by a gift or the prospect of ben­e­fit­ing by agree­ing to award the con­tracts to Ms Makhalemele and her com­pany.

Mean­while, for­mer Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Kiz­ito Mh­lakaza is also set to con­tinue with his tes­ti­mony when the trial re­sumes.

Mr Mh­lakaza was se­nior to DCP Tumelo Moseme by virtue of be­ing the act­ing com­mis­sioner of po­lice at the time.

In his tes­ti­mony last week, Mr Mh­lakaza said he was un­aware of the sign­ing of the con­tract for procur­ing the po­lice equip­ment.

He said all such trans­ac­tions were be­ing han­dled by DCP Moseme. The for­mer com­mis­sioner also ac­cused DCP Moseme of de­fy­ing a di­rec­tive is­sued by the Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs that the LMPS should not sign any con­tracts with any other in­sti­tu­tions and leave that role to prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries.

How­ever, Mr Mh­lakaza con­firmed writ­ing a let­ter of sup­port for the pro­cure­ment of the po­lice gear af­ter he was ap­proached by DCP Moseme who had cited “prob­lems” he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing from the pro­cure­ment of­fice.

Ad­vo­cates Motiea Tele (King’s Coun­sel), Qhale­hang Let­sika and Shale Shale are rep­re­sent­ing the ac­cused.

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