A 27-year-old man accused of being part of a three-member gang which allegedly robbed Maile Masoebe—Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s son-in-law—of property worth over M360,000 as well as M8000 in cash is expected to apply for bail in the High Court this week.
Chere Tloome of Maseru South West (Masowe) was arrested by Thetsane police on 1 June 2016, alongside his alleged accomplices Bonang Matoko (25) and Retšelisitsoe Ramatatana (26), both from Ha-Seoli.
The three men appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of armed robbery and theft they allegedly committed on 24 May this year. The trio was also charged for illegal possession of a firearm.
It is the crown’s case that the suspects allegedly entered Mr Masoebe’s home on the day in question and threatened to use violence against him if he stopped them from taking his property, which included a Mazda CX-5 vehicle, laptop computer, television set, radio, wrist watches, clothes, seven blankets and kitchen utensils.
The men also allegedly forced Mr Masoebe to withdraw M8000 from his bank account, the charge-sheet further notes. Mr Masoebe is the husband of Dr Mosisili’s daughter, Boopane Mosisili, now ’Mamotsotuoa Masoebe, who is First Secretary at the Lesotho High Commission in Nepal.
After their charges were read and explained to them, Chief Magistrate ‘Matankiso Nthunya ordered the suspects to be detained at the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) while investigations into their case continue.
The men were set to re-appear before the same court on 30 June 2016, but Mr Tloome , through his lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane, on Friday applied for bail in the High Court. The bail hearing is set for Tuesday.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Tloome says he was arrested at his Masowe home despite denying any involvement in the alleged crimes.
“The police went ahead to prefer charges of robbery, theft and illegal possession of a firearm against me. I protested my innocence in vain and they went ahead to arrest me notwithstanding my protestations of innocence,” Mr Tloome says in his court papers.
“I verily aver that I have nothing to do with the aforesaid crimes allegedly committed by me in furtherance of a common purpose with persons known to the police but unknown to me.”
Tloome further says he is a father of an infant child and the sole breadwinner “and humbly request this honourable court to release me on bail in order for me to provide for the daily needs of this child”.
He is requesting the High Court to release him on M500 bail with conditions that he reports at Thetsane Police Station “once on the last Saturday of every month,” among others.