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Family blames police for suspect’s death

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE family of Retšepile Moeletsi (33) of Pontšeng in the Quthing district have accused the police of causing his death in police custody on 23 September this year.

However, police spokesperson Senior Inspector Rantoane Motsoetla has refuted the allegations.

The deceased was one of a gang of four men who were arrested in connection with the gruesome murder of an elderly couple of Sebapala in Quthing who were found lying in pools of blood with multiple stab wounds. The couple was fund dead on 20 September.

Mr Moeletsi was arrested along with Motlalepula Mokhesuoe (24), Motlatsi Sekotlo (33) and Moeti Rapeane (74) in connection with the murder of the elderly couple. His family have blamed his death on the police. The family believes the police have something to hide as they have failed to cooperate with them in conducting a postmortem to establish the cause of Mr Moeletsi’s death, allegedly in police custody.

“We were told that the postmortem would be done on Friday (5 October) but it was not conducted,” said Lobe Moeletsi, a sister to the deceased.

“They (police) did not communicate with us and it was only after we approached them that we were told that the pathologist did not show up.

“We have no problem with police conducting their investigations (into Moeletsi’s alleged role in the murder of the elderly Sebapala couple) but we have a problem when people die at the hands of the police. The least we expect of them is to take their findings to the courts of law so that justice can be served.”

Ms Moeletsi said they were told that their brother had died after taking some pills but they found this hard to believe because they knew him to be healthy and he was not taking any medication prior to his arrest.

“It is saddening to hear that my brother died after he took some pills because he wasn’t on any medication and we are not going to accept that explanation,” Ms Moeletsi, said, adding that it was also disconcerting that although their brother died in the early hours of the 23rd of September, the family was only notified much later in the afternoon.

However, police spokesperson Senior Inspector Motsoetla has denied the claims that the police had a hand in Mr Moeletsi’s death.

“The police are investigating the cause of his Mr Moeletsi’s death. We are still waiting for a postmortem to be conducted and once it is done we will know what happened.

We are refuting allegations that he died at the hands of the police because investigations into the matter are still on-going. It is quite premature to conclude what really happened,” said Senior Inspector Motsoetla.

He further said that Moeletsi’s accomplices in the alleged murder of the Sebapala couple remain in custody, having appeared in court on 26 September.

“The trio are accused of the gruesome murder of an elderly couple of Sebapala. The old man (73) was found lying in a pool of blood outside his house next to the toilet and while his wife (69) was also found lying in a pool of blood in the couple’s sitting room.

“Both had some multiple stab wounds which seemed to have been inflicted by a very sharp object,” Senior Inspector Motsoetla said.

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