Police chief retires


Caswell Tlali

MASERU — Lesotho Mounted Police Service commissioner ’Malejaka Letooane is retiring after 34 years of service, the Sunday Express can reveal.

Letooane, who is on leave until May 19 next year, confirmed she will officially retire from the service next year.

She however refused to speak to the Sunday Express further about her retirement complaining about what she said was bad publicity by the paper in the past.

Deputy Commissioner Kizito Mhlakaza is acting as police boss.

Letooane, who holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the National University of Lesotho and an LLB from the University of Natal, joined the police in 1977.

She was appointed police commissioner in January 2005.

Letooane is credited with introducing partnerships with local communities in an attempt to curb fierce armed fights between stock farmers and cattle raiders.

Stock theft has a long history in Lesotho but when Letooane was appointed police commissioner the problem had reached alarming proportions with villagers attacking each other and houses being set ablaze.

A year before she was appointed police chief Cabinet had set up a security committee sanctioning joint police and army patrols in areas that had been badly affected by violence.

One of the hot-spots was Koro-Koro in rural Maseru district where gun totting thugs invaded funeral processions and killed mourners.

With Letooane’s introduction of policing in partnership with communities these attacks subsided for a while.

Letooane retires at a time when the police face the colossal challenge of ending gangster wars between groups of famo musicians especially in Mafeteng district.

Letooane is also credited with the establishment and decentralisation of the Child and Gender Protection Unit (CGPU) within the police.

The unit aims to help the police understand the needs of children, especially those who have broken the law and those who are victims of crime, as well as to educate the community on family safety.

However, Letooane’s tenure as police commissioner has not been smooth sailing.

Last year she was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to a year in jail.

The magistrate’s courts had ordered that Letooane gives evidence in a case in which a man was accused of stealing a car.

During the cross examination the suspect had alleged that the car he was being charged of stealing had been released to its owner by the police.

He said Letooane had illegally ordered that the car which was held by the police as exhibit be released to the owner.

The magistrate ordered that Letooane should appear in court to explain why she had given the order.

After she repeatedly failed to appear in court as ordered Letooane was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to one year in prison.

She only managed to escape jail after the Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla overturned the conviction.

She also lost another case in which a local company, Smally Trading Enterprise, had sued her for denying it a tender to supply police uniform in favour of a United States of America company which had been disqualified because it did not meet all tender requirements.

Letooane together with former home affairs principal secretary, Lefa Mokotjo, were alleged to have tampered with the tender process in favour of Ferrini USA Inc.

Apparently Ferrini USA Inc’s tender had been initially disqualified because the company did not have tax clearance certificates from the Lesotho Revenue Authority. 

The company also did not have a trader’s licence.

It had also not submitted samples of the uniform it wanted to supply, as required by the tender.  

But despite these anomalies Letooane still gave the tender to Ferrini USA Inc sparking a legal row from local companies that had lost the tender.

Under Letooane’s administration the police was also accused of using torture and other brutal interrogation methods to extract confessions from suspects.

Some of the victims have since sued the police while others have won substantial amounts in damages.

Last month the Sunday Express revealed that more than 40 civil suit cases have been filed against the police between 2007 and 2009.


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  1. Oa letamong la Katse on

    Is she going to join polotics? Because she failed to deliver good service. What about if LCD doesn’t win the election. May be she will be in Senate.

  2. Ha u ts’aba u tsa’be motho, I recall with a painfull heart, how ‘Malejaka was so dedicated to her job untill she cought a flue of corruption from the Lcd Gorvn. I think she will regretablly retire from this Position after so many shamefull practices she got herself into. Unfortunately, UNLIKE Malewa, Ldc will not reward her with any job hereafter as Lcd will never rule this country anymore.

  3. Ha a tsamae haho letho leo a le etselitseng mapolesa. O qeteletse a hlobolisa uniform ea li operation a re mapolesa a polese ka li jean tsa bona. Lefatse lohle ha naha e ka polesang hantle ho sena uniform hohang hase Lesotho mona ka baka la ‘m’e eno. Ke mariha honajoale mapolesa a stocktheft a sotoa ho sebetsa coz ba hatsetse. Ha tsamae le ha kaea hona lipolotiking mono coz politics are dirty games, o oela moo!

  4. Ha tsamaee ts’ebetsong ea hau Mapolesa a resaene ka bongata bo hlolang hose khato eo a enka ho thibela taba eo. Ruri pholoho e fihlile sepopleseng. Botsang mapolesa hore na ts’ebetso ea hae ebile joang. Ho ea makatsa hore na hobane a ena le leave e ngata ha kana. ‘Muso hoja oa nka khato ka leave tse kang tsena ruri hona ke phoso e kholo ‘muso ‘ona oa puso ea sechaba ka sechaba. LCD hlokomelang kotsi ea batho ba sa reteng ho nka li-leave hore e sitisa tsoelo-pele ea naha

  5. We will remeber her for poor service delivery in the police service. I thought that women have anything to offer for this country, because of her poor performance, i can safely say police job is not for women at all. She denied educated police like herself promotion yet she was give different treatment after she graduated from NUL. I do not want to talk about nepotism. Just now the police vehicle (X9784) Colt white in colour, is used by one of her friends in the police at Thuoathe for private and personal purposes yet it uses govenment fuel and it is maintained by police expenses. The sergeants are used to milk the cows belonging to this friend and yet there is a complain that there is a lack of supervision in the police service.

    Police do not have uniform because her friends won tenders and benefitted. Only one unit in the police force was taken care of with resources such as motor vehicles and uniform hence some are used for private gains. Courses were provoded for only to the sycophants. Per diems were given to the same while others were expected to work under serious crisis. She deliberately turned a blind eye to the prevailing corruption in the service.

    How can a diploma holder be promoted leaving out the degree holder? How can a person who cant even construct even a mere sesotho sentence be promoted on pretext that he excelled better that a degree holder?

    God will deal with her one day.

  6. One day will be one day, the time has come now. They will answer if even it can be after so many years and their blood will bear what they have done.

    Bomalimabe ke hore feela bana ba tla lefa le-s-el-e+=

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