Police boss says Mojakhomo was ‘helped to escape’

Police boss says Mojakhomo was ‘helped to escape’

MASERU – POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli says he believes ’Makarabo Mojakhomo could have been helped by rogue elements within the police to escape from custody. Molibeli told thepost on Tuesday that the police had since launched an investigation to find out how Mojakhomo could have escaped. “They were going to court that morning when she disappeared, we suspect that she was assisted to flee,” Molibeli said.

“We do not think she ran away from that place but she was helped by someone to escape going to courts as preparations were in progress.” Mojakhomo was arrested last Tuesday for allegedly defrauding First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane’s Trust Fund. The police boss said they have now joined hands with Mojakhomo’s family to find her alive because they “do not think she joined the silent majority, as some have started speculating”.

“We appeal to every Mosotho to help us find her,” he said. It is suspected Mojakhomo disappeared from the police headquarters on Sunday night or early Monday morning, a few hours before she was due to appear in court to answer the fraud charges. Mojakhomo’s family has now filed an urgent habeas corpus case in the High Court seeking an order to force Molibeli to produce her body, dead or alive. Meanwhile, Mojakhomo’s husband, Thabang Mojakhomo, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the same fraud charges.

It is not yet clear how Mojakhomo was going to be charged but her husband Thabang Mojakhomo’s charges say he connived with his wife to defraud Décor-Art Furniture Shop using the name of ’Maesaia Thabane’s Trust Fund. The charge sheet says sometime between February and May this year in Ha-Hoohlo at Décor-Art Furniture Shop in Maseru, they unlawful misrepresented to the shop and Jenny Rose Son Diego, one of the managers that they were acting on behalf of the First Lady.

Mojakhomo also allegedly requested a donation from the same shop an amount of M65 000 and a purchase order on the sum of M85 000. Pleading for mercy, Thabang Mojakhomo said he is the bread winner of four children who depend on him. While the husband was appearing in court, the Mojakhomo family were taking the battle to get back their daughter to the courts. Through their lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati, the Mojakhomo family is demanding that the police bring her before High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi.

The family wants Assistant Commissioner of Police Beleme Lebajoa, Deputy Commissioner Mokete Paseka and other police officers who were involved in the arrest of Mojakhomo to bring her to court, dead or alive. Mojakhomo was in police custody beyond the stipulated 48 hours without any warrant for further detention. Advocate Molati said she was detained on May 29 and disappeared on May 31, leading to her husband’s detention on the same day. “She was called by ACP Lebajoa to report herself to the LMPS and she came and was successfully arrested,” Molati said.

“On the 30th May relatives visited Mojakhomo and managed to see her but she was reported missing by the police on 31st May,” he said. Molati said what seemed to be most amazing was to see on social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) police press statements saying that they were looking for her when there was no explanation as to how she went missing. Justice Monaphathi said the case required immediate attention and ordered that all those involved in the matter should come before court on June 15.

In the certificate of urgency, Molati said Mojakhomo was kept in unlawful continuous detention without being brought before a court of law. The certificate stipulated that there was rife speculation and allegations over social media that Mojakhomo, contrary to police explanations that she disappeared from detention, had been murdered by the police while in interrogation rooms. The couple’s relative, Tello Mojakhomo, told Lesotho Television earlier this week that all what they need is justice. “We want her to be available and appear before courts of law,” he said.

Senate Sekotlo & Nkheli Liphoto

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