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Court sends detained soldiers for medical examination 


army-bootsTefo Tefo

HIGH Court judge Justice Semapo Peete on Thursday ordered Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) authorities to take two incarcerated soldiers for medical attention after allegations they had been severely assaulted during their detention.

Lance Corporal Toma Nehemiah Jobo was allegedly abducted by LDF members on 14 May 2015, while Lance Corporal Pitso William Molefi was also said to have been kidnapped by the army on 18 May 2015.

The duo’s wives filed urgent applications in the High Court seeking orders directing the LDF Commander, Minister of Defence, Director of the LDF’s Military Intelligence Unit, Minister of Justice and the Attorney General to bring the two abducted soldiers to court.

However, the Deputy Sheriffs could not serve the army commander with an interim court order and a certificate of urgency because the sergeant on duty at Ratjomose Barracks allegedly told them her “boss” was not present and that they should return on 18 May 2015.

The respondents  had also been directed to bring Lance Corporal Molefi to the High Court on 20 May at 4pm.

But a lawyer from the Attorney General’s chambers, Advocate Mohapi on Wednesday told Justice Peete that the two detained soldiers would be brought to court on Thursday as “it was impracticable” to bring them to court that time.

It was after the two were brought to court by heavily armed soldiers that Justice Peete ordered that they be taken for medical examination and treatment.

Justice Peete made the order after the pair had exhibited their bruised wrists to the court, which they said they had sustained from hand-cuffs used by their detainers.

The soldiers also told the court that they were not feeling well.

The judge then ordered that they remain in the LDF custody, but should not be subjected to any torture.

Justice Peete also ordered that the two soldiers should be brought to court on Tuesday with their medical reports.

However, the duo told the court that they had not yet been formally charged of any military offence by their captors.

But Advocate Sello – who is also a member of the Lesotho Defence Force – on Wednesday told Justice Peete that Lance Corporal Molefi was facing charges of contravening provisions of the Lesotho Defence Force Act of 1996.

Advocate Mohapi also told the judge on Thursday that she was finalizing her answering papers in defence of the applications brought to court by the two detained soldiers’ wives.

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