MAGISTRATE Nthabiseng Moopisa on Friday set 20 and 21 May 2017 as the trial dates for a defamation case against Alliance of Democrats (AD) youth league president, Thuso Litjobo.
The trial dates were set during Mr Litjobo’s remand appearance before the Magistrate’s Court in the presence of his lawyer, Advocate Tembo Lesupi.
Mr Litjobo, 34, is charged with uttering defamatory words on Tšenolo FM radio station on 11 January this year against Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Motlatsi Mapola.
He is alleged to have uttered defamatory words in Sesotho to the effect that Mr Mapola seemed to be active in party politics.
According to the charge sheet, Litjobo, a resident of Koro-Koro in Maseru, allegedly contravened section 101 read with section 104 of the Penal Code Act No. 6 of 2010.
He is accused under the said provisions “in that upon or about the 11th day of January, 2017, and at or near Ha-Mabote (DLM complex), in the course of the programme styled, Fika-le-mohala and during a radio interview broadcast over Tšenolo FM, a radio station with a broad and wide listenership , the said accused did unlawfully, and intentionally publish and/or cause to be published, to the listenership words and/or statement defamatory of the complainant, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Motlatsi Mapola…”
The defamatory words referred to are quoted in Sesotho and can be interpreted to mean that Mr Mapola would be bored when the government changed because he seemed to be a “tool” used by the present government.
In the statement, Mr Litjobo allegedly said Mr Mapola should refrain from participating in party politics or those that are close to him should advise him to refrain from such.
Mr Litjobo was released on bail on condition that he paid M500 as bail deposit and stand trial to finality.
Mr Litjobo was arrested by members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) at his Lower-Thamae residence in Maseru on 15 January this year.
He was locked-up in Mokhalinyane police station, in Maseru rural.
He was taken to the High Court on 16 January 2017 – a day after his arrest – after his wife lodged an application calling upon the police authorities to bring him to court dead or alive.
High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi ordered that he should be immediately released from police custody.
Advocate Hopolang Nathane King’s Counsel (KC) is the prosecutor in the case.