Missing cop’s father disputes police claims
THE father of missing Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng on Monday filed a replying affidavit to respondents in his High Court application to compel his bosses to release him dead or alive.
PC Khetheng was stationed in Mokhotlong and last seen being arrested by his colleagues at a feast in Sebothoane, Leribe on 25 March this year according to papers filed by his father — Thabo Khetheng.
Mr Khetheng’s affidavit was in reply to Officer Commanding Hlotse Police Station Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu’s opposing affidavit to the former’s habeas corpus application.
In the opposing affidavit, Supt Tšukulu alleges PC Khetheng absconded from duty from 11 March and never reported back to work.
He also accuses Mr Khetheng of deliberately omitting this “information” in his application saying it would be a clear indication he did not have intimate knowledge of his son’s movements and whereabouts.
However, in his replying affidavit, Mr Khetheng denies his son was no longer in the employ of the police.
“I deny that my son was dismissed from Lesotho Mounted Police Service. I further deny that the deponent (Supt Tšukulu) has deposed to full facts that he has knowledge of as shall be demonstrated hereunder,” states Mr Khetheng.
“I deny that I have mis-joined anybody in these proceedings in as much as that issue is not taking this matter anywhere even if it can be upheld.”
He also claims there were witnesses who were “fearful” to come forth for their safety, adding “I will compel them by subpoena to appear before court and testify as to their knowledge”.
Mr Khetheng also denies knowing anything about PC Khetheng’s alleged absconding.
“I deny that I had knowledge of my son absconding from duty. I have not concealed any facts in the circumstances . . .”
In the opposing affidavit, Supt Tšukulu alleges PC Khetheng was implicated in the burning of Officer Commanding Mokhotlong Police Snr Supt Makara’s house and another attempt to burn Supt Mafaufau’s house.
He further alleges the investigations revealed PC Khetheng bought petrol from a service station in a container shortly before the acts of arson were committed, adding there was a smell of petrol in the house that was burnt “clearly showing” that it had been used in the commission of the crime.
However, Mr Khetheng states in the replying affidavit he only heard about the arson matter in Mokhotlong: “I have no knowledge of what the investigations revealed since I have not been favoured with the copy of the docket.”
Mr Khetheng, however, admits knowledge of his son being charged.
“I admit that my son was charged. It is not unusual to have a suspect where crime has been committed much as it had not been proved that it was my son who caused the arson.”
He also disputes Supt Tšukulu’s assertion PC Khetheng left Hlotse Charge Office on his own on 26 March.
“The police know about his whereabouts or where they are keeping him. I reiterate my founding affidavit. It is clear that the police know about the disappearance of my son,” asserts Mr Khetheng.
Commissioner of Police Molahlehi Letsoepa, Officer Commanding Hlotse Police Station Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Minister of Police Monyane Moleleki, Minister of Defence Tšeliso Mokhosi, Commander Lesotho Defence Force Lieutenant-general Tlali Kamoli, Director-general National Security Service, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Attorney-general Tšokolo Makhethe are cited as first to eighth respondents respectively in the matter.
Police constable Mokalekale Khetheng.