Investigation over how ’Makarabo ‘vanished’

Investigation over how ’Makarabo ‘vanished’

MASERU – POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has asked the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to investigate how ’Makarabo Mojakhomo disappeared from custody in May.
Molibeli told a press conference on Tuesday he had roped in the PCA because he and other police officers now considered suspects and therefore cannot investigate themselves.
He was speaking a day after Mojakhomo’s lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati, told him in a letter that Mojakhomo had been found alive in South Africa.
Molati also said Mojakhomo claimed that she did not escape from custody on May 31 as the police say but was abducted by some police officers.
Molati was interrogated by the police after he sent the letter to the commissioner.

Molibeli also said there should be no surprise when the police call a number of people for questioning pertaining to Mojakhomo’s disappearance.
“We believe she was helped and Molati and I are suspects. Everyone is a suspect here,” Molibeli said.
“Because everyone is a suspect we think the PCA can help us.”

He said the police asked for help from the public to find Mojakhomo “after her escape” because they believed that she could be alive and at a reachable place.
“We even posted her pictures in the streets and also called police in other countries to help.”
He said how Mojakhomo left the police station was a mystery until he received Advocate Molati’s letter on Monday saying she had been found.
He also said Mojakhomo who was suspected of theft and fraud must come back home to answer her charges.
“But now she is going to have an additional charge of escaping from lawful custody.”

Molibeli made it clear that they quizzed Advocate Molati because they wanted him to clarify some issues in his letter.
“We did not arrest him, we just wanted clarification on some of the things said in the letter,” Molibeli said. He said Mojakhomo’s “escape” shocked the police because her passport is still with them.

“Her phone is also here so we are wondering how she managed to call people.”
In the letter Advocate Molati told Molibeli that “’Makarabo Mojakhomo has instructed us to inform you… that she did not escape from custody but that she was abducted with the direct help of the police from the Police Headquarters”.

“She further instructed us to inform you that when the time is right, she will come to Lesotho to answer criminal charges, if any, against her as she believes in her innocence until proven guilty in a court of law,” the letter reads. The lawyer told the commissioner that Mojakhomo was advised not to disclose her whereabouts even to him as her lawyer “until such time that she has been put in proper witness protection because if her version were to prevail, then very high ranking people in Lesotho, civilians and high ranking police officers, are implicated in criminal charges”.
He listed the charges as conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, defeating ends of justice, human trafficking and perjury “in order to conceal a suspect who is intended to be killed”.

Molati said he advised Mojakhomo to file a sworn statement in which she narrates all what happened.
He promised to forward the statement to Molibeli. Molati told thepost that Mojakhomo is in South Africa.
“I verified that and also made the police aware of the matter. I did not even know her in person,” Molati said.

“She said she is worried about her safety. If it is true she was abducted some people will have to answer,” he added.
He also said he did not take part in helping Mojakhomo escape from lawful custody. “Her family came to my office saying she disappeared and they needed help,” he said.

He said when the police called him they talked to him in a civilised manner. “I am only concerned that they scared people by calling me for questioning at that time of the day.”
The President of the Law Society of Lesotho, Advocate Tekane Maqakachane, said it is against the law to force a lawyer to reveal confidential information between him and his client.
Maqakachane said if anybody wanted such information from Molati, it would be wrong.

“We are saying a lawyer is part of the public so wherever they did crimes they should account for them,” Maqakachane said.
“However, as the Law Society we took a decision to protect our members when the need arose. It is not (good) to frighten lawyers.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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