Mokhosi charged with murder

Mokhosi charged with murder

MASERU – FORMER Defence Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi has been charged with the murder of Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng.

Mokhosi briefly appeared before Chief Magistrate ’Matankiso Nthunya who told him that he had the right to apply for bail at the High Court.

Mokhosi is the fifth suspect in the murder of Khetheng. Other suspects already in custody are police officers Thabo Tšukulu, Mabitle Matona, Haleokoe Taasoane and Mothibeli Mofolo.

They are alleged to have murdered Khetheng on March 26 last year near Ha-Mokhalinyane in the district of Maseru.

His family would spend the next one and half years looking for him while the police insisted that he had been released.

The then government also insisted that it did not know where he was.

A testimony by a brave police officer broke the case and led to the arrest of the police officers. The police discovered that Khetheng had been given a pauper’s burial.

He was properly buried in Mokhotlong on Saturday.

Mokhosi who is also the deputy leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) is represented by Attorney Qhalehang Letsika while the prosecutor is Advocate Lesaoana Mohale. He is expected to appear in court again today.

Sitting in the dock, wearing a navy blue jacket, Mokhosi looked sickly and tired.

Mokhosi handed himself to the police on Monday morning. He was accompanied by some LCD members who were however refused entry into the police headquarters premises.

His family has alleged that Mokhosi was beaten while in police custody.

A family member said the former minister’s face and wrists were swollen, an allegation the government has denied.

“We have found that ntate Mokhosi has been beaten up. He has a swollen mouth and his fingers could hardly hold a spoon so that he could eat,” said the family member. Communications Minister Joang Molapo however said Mokhosi was treated well. He said the former minister had access to his doctor and lawyer.

“We have presented him to the courts as the law requires. Due process was followed,” Molapo said.

The family member said on Tuesday Mokhosi asked to see a doctor but the police decided to take him to Katlehong Filter Clinic against their will. He was later allowed to see his doctor on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the LCD has slammed the police for allegedly beating Mokhosi during the interrogation.

LCD spokesperson Teboho Sekata said the police are carrying out Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s instructions at his political rallies and in parliament that they should beat up suspects.

“The police should remember that their acts of beating people are a crime,” Sekata said.

He pleaded with SADC, the AU, the Commonwealth, the UN, the EU and other international organisations which are friends to Lesotho to help the Basotho nation out of this “crisis”.

Sekata also pleaded with the Christian Council of Lesotho and the Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations to join in the battle against the police’s brutality against the public.

“We appeal to ambassadors of South Africa and the United States of America to also be roped in the fight against police brutality,” Sekata said.

 Majara Molupe

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