POLICE Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa has served the deputy president of the Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA), Senior Inspector Teboho Modia with a letter to “show cause” why he may not be transferred to Maseru Rural Headquarters (Flight 1 Police Station).
The latest development comes barely a month after High Court judge Justice Nthomeng Majara invalidated SIP Modia’s transfer to Maseru Rural – Mohale Police Post.
SIP Modia, who also heads the Diamond and Drugs department at police headquarters in Maseru, had been transferred on 19 December 2016 to the Maseru Rural – Mohale Police Post to serve as the officer commanding.
According to the letter of transfer signed by Commissioner Molahlehi’s staff officer, Superintendent Mohato Lerotholi, SIP Modia was supposed to have commenced duty at Mohale Police Post by 5 January but he subsequently lodged an urgent application through his lawyers MJ Motšoari Chambers before the High Court on 30 December 2016 challenging the transfer.
On 3 January, 2016, Justice Majara ruled that SIP Modia’s transfer to Mohale Police Post be declared “unlawful, null and void”.
Justice Majara also stated: “This transfer seems innocuous on the surface but is highly coercive and restrictive.”
However, in the latest development, SIP Modia is again faced with the prospect of a transfer, this time to Flight 1 Police Station.
The latest show cause letter was written on 25 January but SIP Modia only received it on 31 January as he had been on leave. He was given five days to respond.
SIP Modia subsequently responded to the latest letter by advancing the same reasons he had given in opposing the Mohale transfer, stating among other things that, he was furthering his studies with the University of Fort Hare in South Africa and the transfer would obstruct his studies and adversely affect LEPOSA’s operations which are centralised in Maseru urban for convenience.
He also argued that the transfer was unjustified as he had recently been dispatched to The Hague in the Netherlands in his capacity as head of the Diamond and Drugs department where he attended the World Forum on Illicit Diamond Trafficking organised by the American security agency Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He said had been able to create links with the FBI which was now ready to empower his office with skills.
LEPOSA General Secretary Inspector Moraleli Motloli the latest transfer was not in good faith.
Inspector Motloli also said they would consult their legal team to “fight this transfer because SIP Modia is an asset to the union and the police welfare and training”.