Chaos in Parliament as bodies are retrieved

Chaos in Parliament as bodies are retrieved

MASERU – THERE was chaos in Parliament yesterday after Police Minister ’Mampho Mokhele announced that the bodies of three men who had been thrown into Mohale Dam had been retrieved.
Opposition MPs heckled Mokhele and clapped their hands as she spoke.
This irked the Minister of Public Service Chief Thesele ’Maseribane who stood up and slammed the opposition for chanting and clapping hands on what was supposed to be a somber occasion.

The opposition MPs continued to chant and clap their hands in defiance.
A visibly irritated ‘Maseribane, who is also the leader of the Basotho National Party (BNP) which is part of the four-party coalition government, was stunned when the jubilation broke out during Mokhele’s presentation.

“How could people behave like this when some people have been thrown into a dam,” he yelled.
But the Deputy Speaker, Teboho Lehloenya, was quick to bring the House to order.
Mokhele told parliament that the bodies of the three men who disappeared in May this year had been retrieved from Mohale Dam by a combined team of Lesotho and South African police divers.

She said the bodies were recovered after an intensive search by the police.
The families of the three men had earlier approached the High Court to order both the police and the army to hand over their sons dead or alive.
The habeas corpus case had been dragging in court for months now.
The case is before Justice Semapo Peete.

Mokhele said the families of the deceased are yet to identify the bodies.
She said police investigations have revealed that the bodies of the three men had been thrown into the dam.
But the search to recover them was hampered by poor weather conditions which were not favourable for the divers to execute their work.
Mokhele told Parliament that some suspects, who are members of the Lesotho Defence Force, had since been arrested over the matter.
The five suspects have since appeared before court and charged with murder.

The accused have been remanded in custody pending completion of police investigations.
The three men, Khothatso Makibinyane, Molise Pakela and Lekhoele Noko, were arrested by the police on May 13 this year at the Maseru Border after a fatal shootout between the Military Intelligence and members of famo gangsters.
They were released by the police on May 16.

The High Court was told that Noko had been picked up by some soldiers at Lekokoananeng on his way to his home in Leribe.
But it was not clear what happened to the other two men who are both from Mpharane in Mohale’s Hoek district.

Majara Molupe

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