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Bail hearing for Khetheng murder suspects

 

Tefo Tefo

THE High Court is tomorrow expected to hear a bail application by four police officers who are facing charges of murdering Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng.

PC Khetheng was stationed in Mokhotlong and he was last seen being arrested by his colleagues at a traditional feast in Sebothoane in the Leribe district on 26 March, 2016.

This prompted his father, Thabo Khetheng, to lodge an application before the High Court on 18 July 2016 for the police authorities to produce him dead or alive.

PC Khetheng had been arrested and charged on allegations he torched the house of his superior in Mokhotlong district where he was deployed.

He was allegedly last seen with Inspector Mothibeli Mofolo, PC Ntoane, PC ‘Mabohlokoa Makotoko and Senior Inspector Mabitle Matona.

Police exhumed a body believed to be that of PC Khetheng at Lepereng cemetery on the outskirts of Maseru on 4 August, 2017 after they were granted a court order by the Magistrate’s Court the previous day.

Four members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) – Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu (51) of ’Malere Matelile Ha Qaba in the Mafeteng district, Senior Inspector Matona (39) of Butha-Buthe, Ha Nqabeni, Sub Inspector Haleokoe Taasoane (44) of Liphofung Mokhotlong and Inspector Mofolo (49) were arrested in connection with the alleged murder of PC Khetheng and they appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

According to the charge sheet, the four performed “an unlawful act or omission with the intention of causing the death” of PC Khetheng on 26 March 2016 in Ha Mokhalinyane in the Maseru district.

Chief Magistrate, ‘Matankiso Nthunya remanded them in custody and advised them to apply for bail at the High Court on account of the fact that the Magistrate’s Court does not have powers to preside over bail applications for murder suspects.

Their bail application will be heard by the High Court tomorrow after they appeared again before the Magistrate’s Court for remand on Thursday.

Another LMPS member of the rank of senior assistant commissioner – whose name is still being withheld – was also arrested last Monday in connection with the case before being released the next day.

However, the officer has not yet been remanded.

The body believed to be that of PC Khetheng was buried on 7 December, 2016 at the Lepereng cemetery together with other unclaimed corpses.

According to information on the tombstone, the body was found in Ha Setho, two days after PC Khetheng’s arrest in Leribe.

The body was transported by Ha Mokhalinyane police to Ha ‘Majane before being transferred to a Lesotho Funeral Service mortuary in Maseru.

 

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