Police boss sued

Police boss sued

MASERU – SIXTEEN members of a special police crack unit are suing Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli to block him from transferring them from Maseru.
The 16 Special Support Unit (SSU) members filed their papers in the High Court yesterday. They are being represented by Advocate Letuka Molati.
They want the court to block their transfer pending finalisation of the application. They have also asked that the disbandment of their unit be stayed pending finalisation of the application.
Advocate Molati told the court that Commissioner Molibeli’s act of transferring the applicants should be declared null and void ab initio.

Commissioner Molibeli is the first respondent with the Attorney General being the second respondent.
The police officers are challenging their transfers from the Police Headquarters in Maseru to districts in Lesotho.
They are also challenging the disbandment of the SSU which is based at the Mabote police station.
Adv Molati informed the court that in the past there was a unit called the Counter Crime Unit (CCU) which was made up of members of the Lesotho Defence Force and members of Lesotho Mounted Police Service.

The applicants through their lawyers also told the court that from the inception, the SSU comprised members of the LMPS and LDF.
But from around July 2017, the SSU was composed of members of the LMPS only.

“I aver that the members of the SSU have undergone intensive training that is specialised. The details thereof are not necessary for security reasons,” the court heard.
Letuka said the SSU has in operation for about 10 years and is comprised of men and women who are very experienced in police work. They have also been vetted due to the sensitive nature of their work.

The applicants argued that it could take at least a minimum of three years to form a comparable unit.
“There are also serious cost implications involved.”

The applicants told the court that based on the above background, the members of the SSU are involved in serious crimes investigations that are presently going on.
“There are some serious white collar crimes whose investigation is underway. In some instances, the members of the SSU have met and interviewed prospective witnesses and suspects,” the applicants told the court.

The court further heard that “it would follow logically that we the applicants are deeply involved in various ways in serious police work of a sensitive nature”.
“There should be an official announcement of the disbandment of the unit as there was an official announcement when it was formed,” the applicants said.
A senior officer, Inspector Temeki, who deposed the main founding affidavit, said they should be allowed to hand over their work which was in progress to another unit or other divisions or departments of the LMPS.

He also told the court that they were not given a hearing prior to their respective transfers.
Inspector Temeki said if the transfers were to be allowed to stand, it would cause tremendous havoc in the lives of their families as most of them would have to leave their children alone as they are attending schools in Maseru. Inspector Temeki said that any transfers prior to a hearing, as had happened in their case, is unlawful, null and void ab initio.

Majara Molupe

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