Po­lice sued for M1 mil­lion

Lesotho Times - - Africa/news - Tefo Tefo

THE High Court on Tues­day watched a video tape which ap­peared to show the dra­matic at­tack on a Koala-bata res­i­dent’s house, who was wrongly ac­cused by vil­lagers of mur­der­ing a per­son in the area.

The video tape was played in court in a case in which Mr Lawrence Pha­sumane is claim­ing M1 mil­lion from the po­lice as dam­ages for its al­leged fail­ure to pro­tect him against vil­lagers who at­tacked him and his property on the 22nd of Jan­uary 2012.

His house was de­stroyed by the vil­lagers who ac­cused him of the rit­ual mur­der of one Mo­holo­bela Seetsa who was mur­dered at the age of 13 years.

How­ever, it later un­folded that one Lehlo­honolo Scott and his mother ‘Malehlo­honolo were in­volved in the rit­ual killing of Seetsa and one Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata.

The duo are cur­rently on trial for the dou­ble mur­der at the High Court for al­legedly killing Seetsa and Mo­hata.

Mr Pha­sumane sub­se­quently filed a claim of M1mil­lion against the po­lice say­ing they had been neg­li­gent even af­ter he had alerted them that he was go­ing to be at­tacked.

Mr Pha­sumane brought the video tape to the High Court on Tues­day to sup­port of his claim.

De­scrib­ing parts of the tape, Mr Pha­sumane told the court that the tape showed that the vil­lagers gath­ered at a foot­ball ground near his home on 22 Jan­uary 2012 as he had told the po­lice the pre­vi­ous day.

“Af­ter their gath­er­ing they at­tacked my house,” he said.

He dis­missed the po­lice claims that they did ev­ery­thing to pro­tect him and his property.

“Had they done their duty well, my property would have not been de­stroyed be­cause I had told them the pre­vi­ous day that I was go­ing to be at­tacked.

“If the po­lice had done the duty there could have been no gath­er­ing near my place,” he said.

He said when the vil­lagers at- tacked his house the po­lice sim­ply came and took him away in a po­lice ve­hi­cle, say­ing much of the at­tack on his house and his three ve­hi­cles took place af­ter the po­lice had taken him away.

“I slept at my sis­ter’s place in Lithoteng that night fear­ing for my life,” he said.

He told the court that the in­ci­dent has trau­ma­tised him such that when­ever he re­calls it he does not sleep at home.

He said the M1mil­lion claim against the po­lice in­cludes, dam­ages on his property and trauma he suf­fered as a re­sult of the in­ci­dent.

Mr Pha­sumane said he was sur-

prised that even af­ter the real sus­pects in the rit­ual killings in his vil­lage stood trial be­fore the High Court, his chief has never called a gath­er­ing for the vil­lagers to apol­o­gise to him.

“It is even more sur­pris­ing that even the chief has never come to my place to see how I am sur­viv­ing af­ter be­ing falsely ac­cused by vil­lagers,” he added.

Dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion a lawyer from the gov­ern­ment’s law of­fice Ad­vo­cate Makhele Sekati said Mr Pha­sumane’s house was at­tacked af­ter he fired gun shots at the an­gry vil­lagers.

But Mr Pha­sumane said: “If I had shot at the crown I could have killed many of them be­cause I know how to use a gun per­fectly.”

The case pro­ceeds be­fore Jus­tice ‘Mase­shophe Hla­joane.

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