Trea­son ar­rests ex­pected soon

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

THE gov­ern­ment says that in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the at­tempted coup of 2014 against the first gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane are al­most com­plete and ar­rests will soon be made.

The gov­ern­ment said this while pre­sent­ing its re­port on the po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Le­sotho dur­ing last week’s South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) heads of state Dou­ble Troika Sum­mit in Luanda, An­gola.

The gov­ern­ment also in­di­cated that a trea­son charge would pre­ferred on the sus­pects who in­clude some sol­diers who are al­ready in cus­tody fac­ing other charges.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the trea­son case where ra­dio sta­tions were closed and the State House in­vaded by the army, where the Right Hon­ourable Prime Min­is­ter Dr Tha­bane nar­rowly es­caped and skipped the coun­try, is al­most com­plete.

“It is pend­ing ar­rest of the sus­pects and join­ing oth­ers who are al­ready in the Maseru Cen­tral Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion await­ing trial for var­i­ous other charges who will also be for­mally charged be­fore courts of law for trea­son,” the gov­ern­ment said in its re­port.

For­mer army com­man­der, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli is cur­rently in cus­tody at the Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity Prison await­ing a murder trial in con­nec­tion with the 30 Au­gust 2014 killing of Po­lice Sub-in­spec­tor, Mokhe­seng Ramahloko.

Sub-in­spec­tor Ramahloko was shot and killed by sol­diers dur­ing the at­tempted coup of Au­gust 2014 at the Po­lice Head­quar­ters in Maseru. The sol­diers who al­legedly acted on the in­struc­tions of the then army com­man­der, Lt-gen Kamoli, also raided sev­eral other po­lice sta­tions in Maseru and seized an as­sort­ment of weapons.

Three other army of­fi­cers namely, Cap­tain Litekanyo Nyakane (38), Lance Cor­po­ral Mot­lo­h­eloa Nt­sane (34) and Lance Cor­po­ral Leut­soa Mot­sieloa (31) are charged with Lt-gen Kamoli in the murder of Sub-in­spec­tor Ramahloko. The three are in de­ten­tion with LtGen Kamoli at the Maseru Max­i­mum Prison.

The gov­ern­ment also said it had com­pleted in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the 5 Septem­ber 2017 as­sas­si­na­tion of the army com­man­der, Lt-gen Khoan­tle Motšo­motšo. It said the sus­pects had been ar­rested and in ad­di­tion to the nor­mal court case, a court mar­tial will be held next Wed­nes­day.

The gov­ern­ment also re­ported progress in its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the fa­tal shoot­ing of the For­mer First Lady, Lipolelo Tha­bane and the at­tempted murder of Thato Si­bolla on 14 June 2017. Ms Tha­bane was shot dead by an un­known as­sailant as she was about to drive into her Ha ‘Masana home on 14 June 2017.

“The in­ci­dent oc­curred just two days be­fore Dr Tha­bane’s in­au­gu­ra­tion as prime min­is­ter.

A fe­male com­pan­ion of Ms Tha­bane also sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries in the shoot­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment re­port, a spe­cial team was set up on 16 June 2017 to in­ves­ti­gate murder and the at­tempted murder.

“The scene of crime was at­tended by Maseru Ru­ral Head­quar­ters Po­lice Sta­tion Per­son­nel, where two shells of a 9 mm pis­tol were found and sub­mit­ted to the bal­lis­tics (experts).

“The team (of in­ves­ti­ga­tors) has con­ducted in­ter­views with in­di­vid­u­als, friends, rel­a­tives and pos­si­ble wit­nesses.

“A post-mortem was also car­ried out and a ‘lead’ was dis­cov­ered from the de­ceased body and was also sub­mit­ted to the bal­lis­tics.

“An­other ‘lead’ was dis­cov­ered from the lady (Ms Si­bolla) while she was hos­pi­talised and was also sub­mit­ted to the bal­lis­tics. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are on-go­ing,” the gov­ern­ment said in its re­port.

Yes­ter­day, the po­lice com­mis­sioner Holomo Moli­beli con­firmed that the trea­son in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­way. He how­ever, de­clined to give a spe­cific date for the com­ple­tion of in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“It is dif­fi­cult to be spe­cific on when the trea­son in­ves­ti­ga­tions will be com­plete or the dates for the ar­rests of the sus­pects. The process was trig­gered by the SADC in­ter­ven­tion into Le­sotho’s in­sta­bil­ity and SADC po­lice experts have been as­sist­ing LMPS in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“In due time, sus­pects will be ar­rested and the po­lice will take them to the courts of law for pros­e­cu­tion,” Mr Moli­beli said.

He also con­firmed that with the help of SADC in­ves­ti­ga­tors, the po­lice have two leads in re­la­tion to the murder of Ms Tha­bane.

“The LMPS is util­is­ing the sup­port from the SADC po­lice experts and we have got the leads into the murder case of the for­mer First Lady. I can’t give fur­ther de­tails but when the in­ves­ti­ga­tions are com­plete the sus­pects will be ar­rested and brought to book,” he added.

FOR­MER LDF Com­man­der Lt-gen Tlali Kamoli

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