Mahaos sue Kamoli

Mahaos sue Kamoli

MASERU – THE family of the late Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao is suing former army commander Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli for their son’s death at the hands of soldiers.
The family is demanding M20 million for wrongful death, loss of support, loss of income and damage to property.
The Mahaos are also suing former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.
Also cited is former acting commander Lineo Poopa who was recently appointed Ambassador to Malaysia.

The family is also demanding damages from the estates of the late Colonel Tefo Hashatsi and the late Brigadier Bulane Sechele.
The details are contained in a court application the family is likely to file this week. A year ago the family issued summons to sue the state for the late general’s death.
The application being finalised is to include Lt Gen Kamoli and company in that lawsuit.

The family wants M12 million for loss of income, M7.5 million for loss of support and M3.2 million for damage to property.
Mahao’s brother, Professor Nqosa Mahao, said the lawsuit has been ready since May this year but the family was waiting for the right moment.
“We were just holding them back because we were waiting for the ideal circumstances,” Professor Mahao said.
He said the family believes now is the right time to bring the case because the reform process has started and the rituals have been performed.
The other reason, he said, is that Metsing is likely to return from self-imposed exile soon.

Professor Mahao said the initial papers filed last year were meant to satisfy the legal condition that the case should be brought to court within two years after the event.
The new application, he said, is meant to enjoin the other officials he said the family believes are the real “instigators and perpetrators” of his brother’s death.
He said they were applying to include Lt General Kamoli and company as a “matter of principle and to set an example that will be used as precedence in future”.
“What has been happening is that state officials commit terrible crimes and when the state is sued it is the government that pays and not those people,” Professor Mahao said.
“That principle has to change people because the real perpetrators have to pay for their crimes.”

The Mahao family has always maintained that their son’s death in June 2015 was instigated by senior officials in Mosisili’s government. Lt Gen Mahao was ambushed by a group of soldiers while coming from his rural home in Mokema.

The army said it was an operation to arrest him for his alleged role in the mutiny against Lt Gen Kamoli. It further claimed that he had tried to resist arrest by drawing his gun.
But that was dismissed by the SADC commission of inquiry which said it could not find evidence that he pulled his gun and was resisting arrest.
The commission concluded that he was shot at close range, a position supported by the testimonies of two relatives who were in the car with him. A pathologist and a ballistic expert also found the same.

The allegation that there was a mutiny was also dismissed by the commission. So too was the claim that Lt Gen Mahao was still alive when he arrived at Makoanyane Military Hospital.
During the commission’s hearing the army refused to reveal who had ordered the operation that led to his death.
The late Brigadier Sechele however admitted that he was commander of the operation but refused to confirm if he was at the scene. Although he refused to name the soldiers involved in the operations investigations have led to the arrest and charging of several soldiers in for the alleged murder.

Lt Gen Kamoli has also been charged with several crimes allegedly committed during his reign and he is awaiting trial in custody. The charges include 14 of attempted murder and one of murder.

Staff Reporter

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