Po­lice raid for­mer DPP

Lesotho Times - - Front Page -

Pas­cali­nah Kabi

HEAV­ILY armed po­lice of­fi­cers de­scended on the home of the out­go­ing Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP), Le­aba Thet­sane, in Thet­sane in Maseru on Tues­day and forced him to hand over his of­fi­cial ve­hi­cle to the gov­ern­ment.

The raid comes barely a fort­night af­ter Adv Thet­sane filed a con­sti­tu­tional case seek­ing the re­ver­sal of the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to re­tire him from the pub­lic ser­vice with ef­fect from 17 Jan­uary 2018.

Both Adv Thet­sane and the Law and Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs min­istry’s Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, ‘Mole Khu­malo, con­firmed the po­lice raid, with the for­mer DPP telling the Le­sotho Times that he was left with no choice but to sur­ren­der the ve­hi­cle to the au­thor­i­ties af­ter heav­ily armed po­lice of­fi­cers stormed his house on Tues­day.

“I can con­firm that heav­ily armed po­lice of­fi­cers came to my house on Tues­day at about 12:30 pm de­mand­ing that I re­lease the ve­hi­cle into the gov­ern­ment’s pos­ses­sion,” Adv Thet­sane said yes­ter­day.

“How­ever, I can­not com­ment fur­ther on the mat­ter as these is­sues are be­ing dealt with in the courts of law but what I can tell you for now is that I didn’t re­lease the ve­hi­cle freely.

“They (the po­lice) were armed with AK47 firearms. I im­me­di­ately called the one who was in charge of the op­er­a­tion to come into my house and we talked over the mat­ter. It was around 12 noon when I was about to leave for my gym ses­sions,” Adv Thet­sane said.

He said that he found it strange for heav­ily armed po­lice to in­volve them­selves in purely civil mat­ters.

How­ever, Law and Con­sti­tu­tional Af­fairs Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, ‘Mole Khu­malo, said that Adv Thet­sane had only him­self to blame for his ex­pe­ri­ence at the hands of the po­lice.

Adv Khu­malo said they only re­quested po­lice assistance af­ter Adv Thet­sane re­fused to re­ceive a let­ter from the gov­ern­ment re­quest­ing that he re­turn the of­fi­cial ve­hi­cle since he had ceased be­ing a civil ser­vant on 17 Jan­uary this year.

“He (Adv Thet­sane) was of­fi­cially re­tired af­ter a cab­i­net de­ci­sion to re­tire him with ef­fect from 17 Jan­uary. I there­fore wrote him a let­ter re­quest­ing that he re­turn the ve­hi­cle to the gov­ern­ment as he was no longer a civil ser­vant.

“He re­fused to ac­cept the let­ter and upon hear­ing this, I called him to dis­cuss the mat­ter and he in­formed me that since his case was be­fore the courts of law, he could only com­mu­ni­cate with us through his lawyers.

“It is then that we asked for assistance from the po­lice be­cause we had ex­hausted all com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels and we needed to re­pos­sess the ve­hi­cle from him as he was no longer a civil ser­vant,” Adv Khu­malo said. Ad­vo­cate Thet­sane, who served as DPP since 1999, was ini­tially sched­uled to re­tire on 28 June 2018 upon reach­ing the manda­tory re­tire­ment age of 60 years. How­ever, the cab­i­net re­solved that he re­tire with ef­fect from 17 Jan­uary this year and Ad­vo­cate Hlale­fang Motinyane was sub­se­quently ap­pointed act­ing DPP. Adv Thet­sane has chal­lenged that de­ci­sion in the con­sti­tu­tional court. The court sat on 5 Fe­bru­ary and set the 27th of Fe­bru­ary this year as the date for hear­ing Adv Thet­sane’s ap­pli­ca­tion. Three judges namely, Jus­tices, Semapo Peete, Le­bo­hang Mo­lete and Sakoane Sakoane will hear the ap­pli­ca­tion.

out­go­ing DPP Le­aba Thet­sane.

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