Tears for ‘Makarabo

Tears for ‘Makarabo

MASERU – Emotions ran high at the High Court on Monday as witnesses testified in a case to establish what could have happened to ’Makarabo Mojakhomo who has been missing for more than a month. ‘Makarabo, a director of the First Lady’s Trust fund, allegedly disappeared from police custody on May 30 and has been missing since then.
Mojakhomo’s family does not believe the police explanation’s that Mojakhomo fled from police custody when she was about to appear in court for allegedly swindling hundreds of thousands of Maloti from the Trust Fund.

The family wants the court to order the police to produce her dead or alive.
Mojakhomo’s brother-in-law, Lebohang Mojakhomo, could not hold back tears during the hearing. When it became too hard to bear Lebohang walked out of the court as tears rolled down his face.
He later told thepost he was weeping for Mojakhomo’s children who are his nephews and nieces.

The children, he said, have been asking him about their mother and he does he doesn’t have the answers.
“My sister has left two boys and two girls at home. The youngest two are four years and six years old,” Lebohang said. “These younger ones are touching my heart,” he said, his voice trembling with emotions.

“Every time when I arrive home they rush to me to ask where their mother is. They want me to give them a cell phone so that they can call her.”
Lebohang said “their picture came to my mind during the hearing and I could not suppress my emotions”.
“My feelings were hurt more when Inspector Nkeane was giving nonsensical evidence in court. I couldn’t hold my tears anymore.”
The first witness of the day in the habeas corpus case was ’Mathabang’s father-in-law, Tello Mojakhomo, who was led in evidence by Advocate Letuka Molati who is representing the family.
Tello, 67, told Justice Semapo Peete that “about eight to nine police officers” who told him about Mojakhomo’s disappearance were not making sense because they were all talking at the same time.

“The way they were doing it was as if they did not want me to understand,” Tello said.
He said the last time he saw ’Mathabang (Mojakhomo) in custody was on May 30, 2018 but he was told not to ask her why she had been detained.
Half-way through the testimony Tello became emotional as he told the court that he was given different explanations. He said the only thing he could grasp from the police officers was that Mojakhomo had disappeared.

“I asked them how a woman could disappear from the top floor (of the police Head office) then went through the stairs down to go out through the gate.”
“They told me not to say she disappeared but to correct my statement and say she ran away.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police Motlatsi Mapola said he blamed the police for negligence.
Mapola has been in the service for more than 30 years.

Mapola told that court that on May 31, around 4pm, he received a report that (Mojakhomo) had escaped and he immediately summoned the officers in charge.
He said when he asked Inspector Mohoang how she escaped he pointed at a woman police officer for explanation.
“She said they were preparing to take ’Mathabang (Mojakhomo) to court and she left her in the corridor near her office and shortly found her gone.”
He said Constable Thoola told him that Mojakhomo was not in handcuffs or leg shackles.

“The act has to be inquired as people under police custody should be handcuffed or shackled for safety. That is a police standard practice,” he said.
“Internal inquiry is in progress on this matter though I can’t tell when it will be complete.”
’Masole Letsie, Mojakhomo’s sister, told the court that he believes that the officers who knew about Mojakhomo’s disappearance were Mohoang, Lethoko, Shabalala, Nkeane, Mongali, Thoola and Seutloali.

She said Mongali told her that her sister had run away. “We were told that ’Mathabang (Mojakhomo) was ordered to wait outside on the corridor and she ran away. I did not accept the explanation even currently I don’t accept it. I have a feeling the police have something to do with her disappearance,” Letsie said.

Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli told the court that he was in Angola when he learned of Mojakhomo’s disappearance.
He said a team of three police officers is investigating Mojakhomo’s disappearance and the “matter is being given high priority”.
Inspector Nkeane said they have requested Interpol to help find Mojakhomo.

Judge Peete said “the case requires highest, professionalism and speedy progress”.
“LMPS should be seen maintaining international standards and maintenance of rule of law,” the judge said.
First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane and Police Minister ’Mampho Mokhele are the next witnesses.
Advocate Molati said the testimonies are likely to unravel what happened to Mojakhomo.

Senate Sekotlo

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