Kamoli grilled

Kamoli grilled

MASERU – FORMER army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli was yesterday interrogated by the police “over the unlawful incidents” that happened under his command, thepost heard last night. The interrogation began in the morning and was still continuing at the time of going to print last night.
Police spokesman Inspector Mpiti Mopeli told thepost that Kamoli was being quizzed on “all the unlawful incidents that occurred during his command” of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).

Mopeli could however not specify which crime Kamoli is suspected to have committed when he was the LDF boss.
Kamoli was appointed army boss in April 2012 but was forced out in December last year after the then government led by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili came under immense pressure from SADC.

A SADC commission of inquiry led by a Botswana judge, Justice Mphaphi Phumaphi described Kamoli as a “divisive figure”, while Mosisili defended him as a “loyal and competent soldier”.

The SADC commission accused soldiers who were under Kamoli’s command of perpetrating serious human rights violations.
Justice Phumaphi was investigating the circumstances surrounding the killing of former LDF commander Maaparankoe Mahao.
Mahao was killed during what the army said was an operation to arrest him for plotting a mutiny against Kamoli.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fired Kamoli on August 29, 2014 and replaced him with Mahao. Kamoli however refused to vacate office.
On the night of August 30, the army raided the State House and the police headquarters where a police officer who was on duty, Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko, was gunned down.

The army also attacked the Mabote police station where the police’s special operations unit is headquartered.
Thabane only survived after he was bundled into the boot of a relative’s car and fled the State House during the raid.

On the same night, Mahao narrowly escaped death after a band of soldiers showered his home with bullets, killing his dog.
Mahao’s wife and minor children were in the house during the attack.
Thabane, his political ally Thesele ’Maseribane, and several other senior government officials including the then police commissioner, Khothatso Tšooana, fled the country to South Africa.

Thabane has insisted the events of August 30, 2014 were an attempted coup, a claim the LDF has dismissed in the past.
About two years earlier in January 2012, Thabane’s then girlfriend Liabiloe Ramoholi’s house was also bombed. Two minor children were injured during the attack.

Eight soldiers were fingered in the attack but Kamoli refused to hand them over to the police for questioning.
Kamoli and the late Brigadier Bulane Sechele told SADC investigators in 2015 that they would not hand over any soldier to the police for any suspected crimes because they would be tortured.

The SADC investigators said the army had refused to cooperate with the police in the investigation surrounding Mahao’s death.
There were also other incidents in which soldiers who were under Kamoli’s command had killed people.
These include the three men who were killed near a military base in Mafeteng. The army has refused to cooperate with the police during the investigations.

Majara Molupe

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