Claims he was mur­dered for re­fus­ing in­struc­tions to im­pli­cate se­nior politi­cians

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Bereng Mpaki

CAS­KET with the re­mains of Po­lice Con­sta­ble Mokakale Khetheng dur­ing his burial yes­ter­day.

THE fam­ily of slain Po­lice Con­sta­ble (PC) Makakole Khetheng yes­ter­day vowed to “die in pur­suit of jus­tice,” say­ing he was bru­tally mur­dered for his re­fusal to be used to im­pli­cate se­nior po­lit­i­cal fig­ures in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

The sen­sa­tional claims were made by one of the rel­a­tives dur­ing PC Khetheng’s burial in Mokhot­long.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki, Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Holomo Moli­beli, min­is­ters, Tefo Mape­sela (Trade and In­dus­try), Th­e­sele Maserib­ane (Pub­lic Ser­vice), Joang Mo­lapo (Com­mu­ni­ca­tions), Keketso Ran­tšo (Labour), Cha­lane Phori (Small Busi­ness), Mokoto Hloaele (En­ergy), deputy min­is­ters, Nthabiseng Makoae (Agri­cul­ture) and Mach­esetsa Mo­fo­mobe (Home Af­fairs), were among dig­ni­taries at the mas­sively at­tended funeral.

Also in at­ten­dance were rel­a­tives of slain army com­man­der, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao, slain po­lice of­fi­cer, Mokhe­seng Ramahloko, prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries and mem­bers of the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice (LMPS).

One of the PC Khetheng’s rel­a­tives, Mab­ula Khetheng, said the former was killed be­cause of his “brav­ery” in re­fus­ing to carry out in­struc­tions to im­pli­cate some se­nior politi­cians in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said PC Khetheng may have been forced to drink a chem­i­cal sub­stance, had his wrists cut and was burned in the gen­i­tal re­gion in a grue­some killing.

“We are ready to die in pur­suit of jus­tice for Mokakale,” Mr Mab­ula said.

“We will not just look on while our loved ones are mur­dered. Let them kill us if they want to but they should re­mem­ber that they are also go­ing to die.”

Mr Mab­ula also thanked the four par­ties’ coali­tion govern­ment led by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane for ex­pe­di­tiously solv­ing the mys­tery of PC Khetheng’s dis­ap­pear­ance af­ter as­sum­ing power in the wake of the 3 June 2017 snap elec­tions.

The Dr Tha­bane-led All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, the Al­liance of Democrats, the Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and the Re­formed Con­gress of Le­sotho are part­ners in the govern­ment which re­placed the former seven par­ties’ regime that was led by Pakalitha Mo­sisili of the Demo­cratic Con­gress.

PC Khetheng was sta­tioned in Mokhot­long and last seen be­ing ar­rested by his col­leagues at a tra­di­tional feast in Se­both­oane, Leribe on 25 March 2016.

This prompted his fa­ther, Thabo Khetheng, to lodge an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the High Court on 18 July 2016 for the po­lice author­i­ties to pro­duce him dead or alive.

PC Khetheng had been ar­rested and charged on al­le­ga­tions that he torched the house of his su­pe­rior in Mokhot­long district where he was de­ployed.

He was al­legedly last seen with In­spec­tor Mo­folo, PC Ntoane, PC ‘Mabohlokoa Mako­toko and Se­nior In­spec­tor Ma­tona.

The LMPS had ar­gued that PC Khetheng had left the Hlotse po­lice sta­tion with­out per­mis­sion and they did not know where he was. For its part, the Khetheng fam­ily ar­gued that the po­lice should know where he was be­cause they ar­rested him.

A body be­lieved to be that of PC Khetheng was ex­humed at Lepereng Ceme­tery in the Maseru district on 11 Au­gust af­ter the po­lice were granted a court or­der by the Mag­is­trate’s Court in light of the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into his dis­ap­pear­ance and sus­pected mur­der.

Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Thabo Tšukulu (51), Se­nior In­spec­tor Mabi­tle Ma­tona (39), Sub In­spec­tor Ha­le­okoe Taa­soane (44) and In­spec­tor Moth­ibeli Mo­folo (49) have since been ar­rested and charged with mur­der­ing PC Khetheng.

PC Khetheng’s fa­ther, Thabo, said he was re­lieved that the re­mains of their son had been found and brought home for burial.

“We thank God for help­ing us to get his re­mains that we looked for for so long.

“We were ex­pect­ing him to sur­face alive but nonethe­less, we are thank­ful that his re­mains have been found,” Mr Thabo said, adding his son had died due to the lack of re­spect for hu­man rights of cit­i­zens by the pre­vi­ous govern­ment.

“When the govern­ment does not re­spect hu­man rights, such things will hap­pen.

“When pub­lic ser­vants de­liver poor ser­vices, things like this will hap­pen,” he said.

For his part, Mr Moleleki, said it was en­cour­ag­ing to see Mr Thabo Khetheng had been com­forted by find­ing of his son as well as the mas­sive at­ten­dance at the fu- neral by peo­ple from dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try.

“Be­hold the mag­ni­tude that has poured in for the funeral to of­fer their sup­port. This shows that you are not alone in be­reave­ment,” Mr Moleleki said.

Mr Moleleki also com­mended Act­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli for his work in restor­ing the im­age of the po­lice in the eyes of the pub­lic.

“He (Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli) has re­stored the trust of the na­tion in the po­lice ser­vice.

“I hope the prime min­is­ter will soon con­firm him as the sub­stan­tive po­lice com­mis­sioner.

“May I also rec­om­mend that the two po­lice­women, Mako­toko and Mphut­lane who showed brav­ery this Women’s Month by be­ing key to find­ing the re­mains of Khetheng be con­sid­ered for pro­mo­tions,” Mr Moleleki said.

For his part, Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli apol­o­gised to the na­tion, say­ing the po­lice were not man­dated to kill sus­pects but hand them over for pros­e­cu­tion as was the case with the four po­lice of­fi­cers cur­rently in cus­tody in con­nec­tion with PC Khetheng’s death.

“We do not ter­rorise peo­ple and if we did, why didn’t we kill the four po­lice of­fi­cers sus­pected in Khetheng’s killing? In- stead we handed them over for pros­e­cu­tion. We are work­ing hard to re­gain the peo­ple’s trust in the po­lice ser­vice.

“When I look at Ntate Khetheng my eyes fill up with tears be­cause the po­lice took away his son who was a sus­pect. But now he can never come back. Why couldn’t we pros­e­cute him in­stead?

This is why on be­half of the LMPS I hang my head in shame to ask for the fam­ily’s and peo­ples for­give­ness,” Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli said.

For her part, Po­lice Min­is­ter, Mam­pho Mokhele vowed that all un­solved cases would be speed­ily at­tended to, in­clud­ing the killings of Lt-Gen Ma­hao and Po­lice Of­fi­cer Ramahloko.

She also urged po­lice to re­solve other pend­ing cases that she said were easy to solve.

“There are many cases like this one that were not be­ing fol­lowed up on and I don’t know whose in­struc­tion it was,” Ms Mokhele said.

She also ap­pealed to Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli to en­sure that po­lice pro­mo­tions were based on merit and not a re­ward for killing peo­ple.

She also said that po­lice women like Mako­toko and Mphut­lane de­served pro­mo­tion and not the four de­tained po­lice of­fi­cers.

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki

MOURN­ERS at PC Khetheng’s funeral in Mokhot­long yes­ter­day.

THE cof­fin of PC Khetheng lies in state at the funeral ser­vice in Mokhot­long yes­ter­day.

ACT­ING Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Holomo Moli­beli.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.