Top cop flees to SA

Top cop flees to SA

MASERU – A SENIOR police officer, Senior Superintendent Lebohang Setsomi, fled the country on Monday after claiming his life was in danger.
He is now in hiding in South Africa. Setsomi told thepost last night that he had fled the country after receiving death threats.
He said he believed he was being targeted after he was accused of being instrumental in the controversial promotion of 30 police officers after the June 3 snap election.

The then Commissioner of Police, Molahlehi Letsoepa, who has been sent on forced 90-day leave by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, promoted more than 30 police officers on June 4, just a day after parliamentary election that saw former premier Pakalitha Mosisili ousted from power.
Thabane and his partners in the ruling coalition interpreted that as Mosisili’s attempt to put his men in strategic positions so that he could still be in control even after losing the election.

Setsomi is one of the police officers who were promoted. He was promoted to the rank of the Assistant Commissioner of Police from Senior Superintendent. Setsomi works in the procurement unit of the police. All those who were promoted have since been demoted back to their original ranks, while some have been transferred to other departments. On June 30, the then Acting Commissioner of Police Keketso Monaheng verbally instructed the salaries division of the police that all the promoted police officers should not be given their salaries.
Monaheng said the decision was based on the fact that they were still waiting for judgement on the case.

The Lesotho Police Staff Association (Leposa) last month asked the High Court to reverse Letsoepa’s decision to promote the officers, saying due process was not followed. The promoted officers have also sued saying they did not promote themselves and therefore they should be paid salaries corresponding to their new ranks. These police officers will know their fate next Monday. A relative of Setsomi who asked for anonymity told thepost that the top cop got a tip off that he would be arrested and he would never come out of the holding cell alive.

The source said Setsomi was tipped that he would get a call from his bosses instructing him to immediately report himself at the police headquarters.
The source said Setsomi was advised not to go to the police headquarters because he would be killed. The source also confirmed that there was a plan to kill him.

“There was a suspicious movement of two police officers around his area who looked like they were patrolling the area,” said the source.
Police spokesman, Senior Inspector Mpiti Mopeli, said he was not aware of the case last night.
The Acting Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli also said he did not have any information regarding the incident.

Majara Molupe

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