Mokhothu wants full blown probe into killings

Mokhothu wants full blown probe into killings

MASERU – Democratic Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu says his party wants to see wide ranging investigations into past killings including that of former first lady Lipolelo Thabane.
Mokhothu was speaking at a rally in ’Maliepetsane constituency last Sunday.

He said his party, together with their allies, are working extremely hard to ensure people know the truth of what happened in the past.
Mokhothu said one of the reasons the DC is pushing hard to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is so that the truth surrounding deaths such as that of Lipolelo is known.

“We need to know about the death of Lipolelo Thabane,” Mokhothu said.
“Why do these people not want us to investigate other deaths, they want to limit the probe to the 2014 deaths?” he said.
He was referring to the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Basotho Action Party (BAP) and Basotho National Party (BNP) that see the establishment of a commission of inquiry as usurping the powers of the courts.

Mokhothu said under the commission of inquiry cases that are not before any court will be investigated while the courts focus only on cases in front of them.
Lipolelo, the second wife of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, was shot dead as she was about to enter her home in Ha-’Masana in June 2017, three days before her husband was sworn-in as prime minister.
Lipolelo’s husband, Thabane and his current wife ’Maesaiah Thabane, who wedded barely three months after the murder, have already been accused of the murder.

’Maesaiah is out on bail while Thabane was never read charges in court after he filed an urgent application in the Constitutional Court asking if it was proper for a sitting premier to be charged over a crime.
His government fell before the court heard his constitutional question but until today he has not been taken to court to be formally charged with the murder.
His own All Basotho Convention (ABC) turned against him saying it could not be led by a murder suspect. He was then ousted as premier and was replaced by Dr Moeketis Majoro.
“It is through a commission that we will know all about these deaths because the courts of law only deal with matters before them,” Mokhothu said.

“As for the commission everyone implicated in it will have to go and respond,” he said.
The commission, whose Bill is already in parliament, will have powers to probe matters that are before the courts as long as the implicated litigants apply to be heard in it.
Based on what is said in the commission of inquiry it will have powers to refer the implicated people to courts for prosecution.

Mokhothu said he also wants to know who killed Sello Machakela, who was the ABC deputy leader.
Machakela was shot dead in 2012 a day after media reports talked about his sour relations with the ABC leadership as he was allegedly about to dump Thabane’s ABC to join the DC.
Machakela had also dragged the ABC to court seeking redress after he clashed with the party leadership over the candidature for the Malimong constituency.

Mokhothu also talked about Edgar Mahlomola Motuba, the Leselinyana la Lesotho editor who was abducted from his home and killed in 1981.
Motuba used to publish critical articles about the then Basotho National Party-led government, which had suspended the constitution and ruled by decree after rejecting election results.
“We want to know who killed Mahlomola Motuba,” Mokhothu said.
“We want to know what happened to him.”
Mokhothu sharply criticised the notion that the investigation of deaths and other gross human rights violations should be limited to the events of 2014 when the army allegedly tried to topple Thabane.

Nkheli Liphoto

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