Soldier refuses to reveal intelligence structure

Soldier refuses to reveal intelligence structure

MASERU – SERGEANT Hashe yesterday stunned the Court Martial when he refused to disclose the structure of the Military Intelligence (MI) within the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).
This was after the defence counsel, Advocate Karabo Mohau KC, asked him to explain how the MI is structured.
“I cannot tell the court how the MI is structured,” Sgt Hashe said in the witness box.

Sgt Hashe is the second crown witness in a case in a case in which Major Major Pitso Ramoepane is being accused of killing Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Advocate Mohau asked the court for help.

Judge Advocate Justice Mathanzima Maqutu adjourned the court until today at nine o’clock.
It remains to be seen whether the court will compel Sgt Hashe to disclose how the Military Intelligence squadron is structured.

Advocate Mohau told the court that he could not understand why an army officer would refuse to answer a question when testifying in a case in which another officer is being tried for an offence committed under the military law and prosecuted in the Court Martial.

Under cross examination, Sgt Hashe told the court that he was surprised as to why Major Ramoepana did not answer his phone on the day that Lt Gen Motšomotšo was killed.

Sgt Hashe said he learnt of Lt Gen Motšomotšo’s death from his colleague, Lance Corporal Molupe.
Lt Gen Motšomotšo died on September 5 last year along with two senior army officers in a fatal shootout which occurred at Ha-Ratjomose Barracks.

Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi, who are believed to have killed him, died along with Lt Gen Motšomotšo.
Lance Corporal Molupe is the second witness in the case in which evidence is being gathered to establish what really transpired on the fateful day.

He said on the day that Motšomotšo was killed he was at the Police Headquarters to process a firearm licence.
He told the court that it was a common practice for Major Ramoepane to come to the Ministry of Defence to take daily updates from him.
And he usually came to the ministry during morning hours.
But if he did not come, he would communicate with Sgt Hashe telephonically, the court heard.
Major Ramoepane was stationed at Ratjomose Barracks while Sgt Hashe was deployed at the Ministry of Defence.
Sgt Hashe said around 8.30am, he called Major Ramoepane to check on his whereabouts because it was uncommon for him not to report to the ministry on time.

He said he informed Maj Ramoepane through the telephone that he should be allowed to go to the police headquarters to process a firearm licence.
He said he already had an appointment with one inspector Thotela of the headquarters police.
Sgt Hashe informed the court that Major Ramoepane gave him further instructions.

The court heard that Sgt Hashe was tasked to find out through his juniors where the three army officers who were on guard at the former commander’s home, Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli, had reported themselves.
The three soldiers had been released by the LDF command to report to the police in connection with the death of Lisebo Tang, the court heard.

The court was informed that the three officers, Corporal Sebolai, Private Matsoso and Private Ratšiu, were all from the Special Forces.

Sgt Hashe argued in court that it was not his duty to find out which charge offices army officers report to when there is such a need.
He said Major Ramoepane did not give him reasons as to why he had to make a follow-up about the army officers who had to report to the police.

He said he did not carry out the task. Sgt Hashe said after he had heard news that Lt Gen Motšomotšo was no more, he tried to call Major Ramoepane but his phone rang unanswered.

He said it was unusual for Major Ramoepane not to pick his calls when he called.
He said Major Ramoepane’s phone rang but was cut.
The court will resume this morning.

Majara Molupe

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