Mapesela threatens security chiefs

Mapesela threatens security chiefs

MASERU  -THE Minister of Defence, Tefo Mapesela, says he will discipline security chiefs ignoring his orders.
Mapesela is locked in a long-drawn turf war with army commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli and spy boss Pheello Ralenkoane who he accuses of undermining him.
Last week Mapesela threatened to clip their wings for allegedly conniving to report him to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. This was after the army commander had ignored his order to fire some soldiers.

A leaked audio clip revealed how the minister complained to a senior police officer that the army commander had put his life in danger by telling the soldiers that he wanted them fired.
The fallout continued this week after the security bosses allegedly ignored his orders to track his missing cattle. Mapesela keeps his cattle at a farm in South Africa.
He said the farm owner told him that his 11 cattle were missing and he asked the security bosses to help find them.
He said he gave the order as both Defence Minister and Acting Police Minister but nothing was done. His order was that they should have patrols to control cross-border stock theft.
The minister said the patrols were going to be a joint effort of the police and the army. Mapesela told thepost he will now use his powers as minister to deal with the security chiefs who disobey him.

“It’s time to use the powers granted to me by His Majesty,” he said.
“These people are yet to answer to me as the chief accounting officer here,” he said.
“Go and ask them why they did not adhere to my call.”
Mapesela said there are “legal instruments and strategies” to deal with security chiefs who disobey orders.
He said the leaking of his telephone conversation with a senior police officer shows that there is indiscipline and it is time to crack the whip.
He said when the cattle disappeared he alerted the Commissioner of Police Molibeli and the deputy army Commander Major General Matela Matobakele.
He said he was asking the police and the army to help find his animals and patrol the border but “I never got help”. The South African farmer later found seven of the animals at a Thetsane house which is owned by a retired police officer.
Four are still missing.

The minister said he informed the Ha Thetsane police which took the cattle but instead of arresting the suspect “they only interrogated him for 20 minutes”.
The suspect’s wife is a police officer, Mapesela said.
Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli declined to comment on the minister’s allegations.
“I cannot exchange words with the minister,” Senior Superintendent Mopeli said.

Staff Reporter

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