MP’s car seized over illegal gun

MP’s car seized over illegal gun

MASERU-SPEAKER of Parliament, Sephiri Motanyane, was heckled yesterday as MPs demanded to know why Dr Mahali Phamotse’s car had been seized after the police found an illegal gun inside it.
Motanyane tried to explain why the vehicle was impounded but eventually wriggled out of the debate insisting only the Sergeant-At-Arms could give a clear answer on the matter.

Dr Phamotse, who is the secretary general of the opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD), said she did not understand why her vehicle was searched at the Parliament’s premises.
She also insisted that she did not have a problem with the fact that a pump action rifle had been found in her car. She however said the gun did not belong to her but was for her bodyguard.

Dr Phamotse also wanted an explanation why the police had kept her car.
She said she went to the police station after her guard was arrested yesterday but she was not given her car.
The security guard works for Mokherane Tsatsanyane’s security company.
Tsatsanyane defected from the All Basotho Convention (ABC) to the AD.
He is the Stadium Area MP.

Dr Phamotse said she sought the services of a bodyguard after she felt that her life was in danger.
“I always drive myself and that person is just a guard,” Dr Phamotse said.
She said she wanted to know if the police are allowed to search MPs at the Parliament premises.

“I was told the guard was supposed to leave the firearm at the gates and not enter the parliament premises with it,” Dr Phamotse told thepost.
Dr Phamotse said the police had refused to hand over her vehicle to her arguing that an unlawful gun had been found inside the car.
She said she was surprised that the police had waited for her to get out of her car before they took it.

When she visited the police station, the police took her particulars and read her charge.
“They just did not take my fingerprints,” Dr Phamotse said.
The AD spokesman, Thuso Litjobo, said it should be clear if the government is doing this to hurt the opposition.

Litjobo said they will find it difficult to do their work in Parliament when they are being targeted and victimised.
He argued that if that vehicle was taken by the police then “it is clear that the government is continuing with its iron fist”.
Another AD MP, ’Manthabiseng Phohleli, also stood up demanding an explanation on the arrest.

Dr Phamotse was supposed to appear in the magistrate’s court yesterday afternoon but the case was postponed.
“They say an illegal gun was found in my property, (which is my) car.”
She argued that she could not know if the gun was illegal or legal because all she bought were the services of a security company that provided her with a bodyguard.

“They should go to the right people and leave me alone. They should ask the security company about the status of the gun,” she said.
Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed that Dr Phamotse’s bodyguard was arrested after he was found in possession of an illegal pump action rifle on Friday.

Nkheli Liphoto

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