KAMOLI FACES MUL­TI­PLE CHARGES

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Reporters

FOR­MER Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli ( pic­tured), is “highly likely” to be charged to­mor­row for mul­ti­ple crimes com­mit­ted un­der his watch by the mil­i­tary.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Holomo Moli­beli yes­ter­day told the Sun­day Ex­press LtGen Kamoli was, among oth­ers, likely to be charged for the fa­tal shoot­ing of po­lice Sub-In­spec­tor Mokhe­seng Ramahloko dur­ing the 30 Au­gust 2014 at­tempted coup against the first gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane.

“The pos­si­bil­ity (of Lt-Gen Kamoli be­ing charged) is very high,” he said.

When asked to spec­ify the charges, Com­mis­sioner Moli­beli said: “A lot of them. The is­sue of Sub-In­spec­tor Ramahloko is likely to be one of them.”

Lt-Gen Kamoli handed him­self over to the po­lice on Wed­nes­day af­ter be­ing sum­moned to as­sist with in­ves­ti­ga­tions into crimes com­mit­ted dur­ing his four-year ten­ure at the helm of the LDF.

Lt-Gen Kamoli was ap­pointed as LDF com­man­der by then pre­mier Pakalitha Mo­sisili in 2012. Lt-Gen Kamoli was even­tu­ally re­tired by Dr Mo­sisili in De­cem­ber 2016, af­ter the lat­ter had re­turned to power. This was af­ter Le­sotho’s devel­op­ment part­ners, such as the United States, had threat­ened to with­draw aid if he re­mained at the helm of the LDF.

On Fri­day, the po­lice were granted more time to in­ter­ro­gate Lt-Gen Kamoli by the Mag­is­trate’s Court un­til mid­day to­mor­row. A slew of charges are ex­pected to be laid against him be­fore the end of the dead­line.

The po­lice brought Lt-Gen Kamoli to the Mag­is­trate’s Court when they ap­plied for the fur­ther de­ten­tion or­der on Fri­day morn­ing. Sources at the court told this publi­ca­tion that Lt-Gen Kamoli was not hand­cuffed when he ap­peared be­fore the mag­is­trate, although he was flanked by a co­terie of se­cu­rity per­son­nel.

Lt-Gen Kamoli’s lawyer, Le­tuka Mo­lati, told the Sun­day Ex­press on Fri­day that his client had not been ill-treated while in cus­tody as of Fri­day after­noon.

“I can as­sure you that since my client was de­tained up to Fri­day at lunch time when I last made con­tact with him, I was con­tent and am proud to say that he has not been sub­jected to any form of tor­ture,” said Ad­vo­cate Le­tuka.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tors han­dling this case have been very pro­fes­sional in their con­duct. There have not been any in­ci­dents of ill-treat­ment or tor­ture. This is some­thing that needs to be ap­plauded.”

A num­ber of LDF mem­bers have al­ready been ar­rested as the gov­ern­ment in­ten­si­fies the pros­e­cu­tion of peo­ple im­pli­cated in var­i­ous un­re­solved crimes es­pe­cially in the mil­i­tary.

The pros­e­cu­tions are in line with South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) Com­mis­sion of In­quiry rec­om­men­da­tions for en­sur­ing last­ing peace in the in­sta­bil­ity-prone King­dom.

Three LDF mem­bers were last month charged with mur­der­ing Sub-In­spec­tor Ramahloko be­fore be­ing re­manded in cus­tody.

Cap­tain Litekanyo Nyakane (38), Lance Cor­po­ral Mot­lo­h­eloa Nt­sane (34) and Lance Cor­po­ral Leut­soa Mot­sieloa (31) were charged with con­tra­ven­ing pro­vi­sions of sec­tion 40(1) of the Pe­nal Code Act No. 6 of 2010.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, the trio fa­tally shot Sub-In­spec­tor Ramahloko on the chest on 30 Au­gust 2014.

Sub-In­spec­tor Ramahloko was killed dur­ing a predawn LDF raid on three Maseru po­lice sta­tions which the mil­i­tary claimed was meant to foil a Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) plan to arm civil­ians but widely dis­missed as an at­tempt to top­ple a sit­ting gov­ern­ment.

The 30 Au­gust 2014 raid was con­ducted soon af­ter Dr Tha­bane, who had come to power af­ter the May 2012 elec­tions, fired Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli as head of the LDF.

Lt-Gen Kamoli re­fused to go and de­ployed sol­diers to raid and seize arms from po­lice sta­tions around Maseru. Lt Gen Kamoli ac­cused the LMPS of plan­ning to give civil­ians firearms for use dur­ing a Le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy (LCD) street protest that was sched­uled for 1 Septem­ber 2014.

LCD leader, Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing, who was deputy prime Min­is­ter in Dr Tha­bane’s first coali­tion had fallen out of favour with the pre­mier and the party had ar­ranged a protest against the gov­ern­ment it was part of.

The LMPS has since de­nied al­le­ga­tions it had ever planned to arm civil­ians and Dr Tha­bane fled the coun­try af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip off that his life was in dan­ger. He would then only re­turn the next month un­der heavy South African po­lice guard.

The at­tempted putsch trig­gered a chain of events that led to the even­tual col­lapse of Dr Tha­bane’s first gov­ern­ment and the in­ter­ven­tion of SADC to pre­vent all out chaos. Sources privy to the mat­ter told the Sun

day Ex­press’s sis­ter publi­ca­tion, Le­sotho Times, that Lt-Gen Kamoli was also in­ter­ro­gated over other un­re­solved crimes, in­clud­ing the 27 Jan­uary 2014 si­mul­ta­ne­ous bomb­ings of the Moshoeshoe II homes of First Lady Mae­siah Tha­bane, ‘ Mamoshoeshoe Mo­let­sane and the Ha Abia res­i­dence of for­mer po­lice com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana.

As part of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the at­tacks, the po­lice had re­quested to in­ter­view eight LDF mem­bers, but Lt-Gen Kamoli re­fused to sur­ren­der the sol­diers.

The sources said Lt-Gen Kamoli was also grilled over the 25 June 2015 killing of for­mer army com­man­der Lt-Gen Maa­parankoe Ma­hao.

Lt-Gen Ma­hao was shot dead by his erst­while col­leagues who claimed he re­sisted ar­rest for al­legedly lead­ing a mutiny against the army com­mand.

How­ever, a SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry es­tab­lished to probe the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Lt-Gen Ma­hao’s death deemed the mutiny al­le­ga­tions “highly sus­pect”.

The Ma­hao fam­ily also ac­cused the LDF of killing him in cold blood bas­ing on the ac­count of his neph­ews who were with him dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

The sources also re­vealed that Lt-Gen Kamoli was in­ter­ro­gated over the 10 May 2014 killing of Lisebo Tang and maim­ing of her male com­pan­ion, Tšepo Jane, by sol­diers guard­ing his Ha-Le­qele res­i­dence.

Ms Tang was shot dead when the car she was sit­ting in with Mr Jane was pep­pered with bul­lets by LDF mem­bers guard­ing the home of Lt-Gen Kamoli.

She died on the scene of shoot­ing, with Mr Jane sus­tain­ing se­ri­ous in­juries and taken to the Makoanyane Mil­i­tary Hos­pi­tal.

A po­lice re­port stated that the ve­hi­cle in which they were sit­ting was shot 123 times by the sol­diers guard­ing Lt-Gen Kamoli’s premises.

FOR­MER LDF com­man­der Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.