Police Minister to be charged

Police Minister to be charged

MASERU-POLICE Minister Lehlohonolo Moramotse will be charged on Monday for violating lockdown rules, the police have said.
Moramotse was caught on video allegedly buying beer from a local shop despite the fact that the sale of alcohol had been banned as part of the rules of the lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19.

That meant he was disobeying the same rules his ministry was supposed to enforce. It appeared to be a flagrant disregard of a cabinet decision he was part to as a minister.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete told thepost that “investigations have been completed and on Monday he will come with his lawyer so that he is charged”.

DCP Mokete says Moramotse could have been charged earlier during the week but he asked for time because he was busy.
He says Moramotse asked if he could be charged on Friday but the police were worried that the courts might be closed because of the lockdown.
In the video Moramotse is seen standing next to his official vehicle parked in front of a Chinese-owned beer shop.

The crates are then put in his boot.
Moramotse had not responded to thepost’s calls since the video was released. He did not respond to text messages despite indications he had read them.

Moramotse’s impending charge comes after a howl of protests from the public and civil society. Moramotse is joining tens of other arrested individuals who have been charged for violating the lockdown.

On Tuesday 14 members of the St John’s Apostolic Church appeared before Chief Magistrate ’Mantankiso Nthunya where they were fined M500 each for violating the lockdown in Ha-Seoli.

The police arrested them on Sunday during a church service as they were deeply in prayer, fully clad with their blue and white church uniform.
The church’s leader, Lineo Mpota, told thepost that they were praying for a sick member when the police stormed the church which is housed in her yard.

Mpota said they were not aware that they would be prosecuted for attending church services.
She said they misunderstood Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s statement.
Mpota said since the church is placed in her yard she did not think it would be a “big issue” if she invited neighbours to join her family in prayer.

“We normally have two hour prayer (sessions) every day, we are not many, it’s just a few people who live near me and my family,” she said.
“I could not deny a chance to a few people who wanted to join us in church.”

Mpota said she and her members are not sure if they will raise the fines.
Chief Magistrate Nthunya ordered them to pay their fines on April 21.
Police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said dozens of people have been arrested for violating lockdown rules.

Itumeleng Khoete

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