Army captain complains to judge

Army captain complains to judge

MASERU – AN army captain who is facing charges of murdering former Lesotho army commander, Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao, says he is not happy with the constant postponements of his case. Captain Litekanyo Nyakane is being charged together with seven other soldiers in the Mahao murder. Nyakane told High Court judge Justice ’Maseshophe Hlajoane that he was not happy with the incessant postponement of his cases.
Standing in the dock, a clean-shaven Nyakane said it was unfortunate that he was not accompanied by his lawyers, Advocate Motiea Teele KC, in court.

Next to him in the dock were his co-accused, Captain Haleeo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Motsamai Fako, Corporal Marasi ’Moleli, Corporal Motšoane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Corporal Tšitso Ramoholi.
The eight men are facing one count of murder and two counts of attempting to murder Mahao’s nephews, Mabilikoe Leuta and Mahao Mahao, when they ambushed Mahao in June 2015.

They are also facing a charge of malicious damage to property after they allegedly riddled Lt. Gen. Mahao’s truck with bullets.
The fifth charge is capturing Lt. Gen. Mahao’s firearm, cell phone, eyeglasses and other items unlawfully.
The other accused did not lay any complaint.

Captain Nyakane is facing a series of criminal charges before the courts and he felt that it is unfair for him that he keeps on paying the lawyer and yet none of his cases is being heard.
He complained that for each court appearance he is billed for legal costs and the cases keep on being postponed.
But his main concern was that his lawyer Advocate Teele was not notified that he would be in court.
Captain Nyakane told Justice Hlajoane that they were concerned that their legal representatives were not in court on Tuesday.
“This is worrisome because we pay them every time that they appear before court,” Captain Nyakane said, speaking on behalf of the rest of the accused.

Their Advocates are Teele, Zwelakhe Mda, Mafaesa and Malefane.
Captain Nyakane also said he came to court on a number of occasions but his cases did not proceed.

“We are also worried why our cases have not been allocated a judge,” Captain Nyakane said.
He asked Justice Hlajoane if it is true that the court is making special arrangements for their case to be presided over by foreign judges.
But Justice Hlajoane told him that once a person is charged, it is the duty of the registrar to hold a session with the accused, amongst others asking him or her about their legal representatives.

She said it is the duty of the accused to inform their counsels about dates of their cases in court.
She further informed Captain Nyakane that it is the duty of the Chief Justice to inform the accused of their notice of trial.
“She is the one to deal with that matter,” Justice Hlajoane said.

And this is also a prerogative of the Chief Justice to indicate which case will be heard by which judge.
In other cases Captain Nyakane is accused along with three other army officers namely, Lance Corporal Motloheloa Ntsane, Lance Corporal Leutsoa Motsieloa and the former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli in the murder of Sub-Inspector Monaheng Ramahloko.

Ramahloko was killed in August 2014 when the army under the command of Lt Gen. Kamoli raided police stations saying they were seizing arms that were to be given to a militia linked with to ruling ABC party. Captain Nyakane also faces a charge of failing to suppress mutiny from taking place.
He is also charged with possessing firearms which were not allocated to him by the army. The accused are set to appear in court on April 20.

Majara Molupe

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