MASERU — Mothopula Seala, the businessman who stormed out of a police interview last week, says he walked out after the same police officer who had allegedly helped a South African businessman steal from him insulted and threatened to kill him. Seala, a director of Metsi a Pula Rentals and Fleet Management, had lodged a complaint against Sergeant Lebajoa whom he accused of aiding a South African businessman, Tobbie Bird, to steal a TLB machine from him.
Thamae Police Station officers stopped investigations into the case after Seala stormed out of a meeting with the police last Thursday.
The police had called him to substantiate his allegations against Lebajoa. Bird is a director of Lombardini, a Ladybrand-based company specilising in earth-moving machine rentals. Last week police spokesperson Masupha Masupha told the Sunday Express that police temporarily stopped investigating the case because Seala had stormed out of the meeting.
Masupha did not explain why Seala had walked out of the meeting. But on Friday Seala called the Sunday Express to explain why he had walked out of the meeting.
Seala said Lebajoa had insulted him using unprintable words and threatened to shoot him if he continued accusing him of helping Bird steal from him. He alleged that the police officers who were interviewing him did not intervene when Lebajoa started insulting and threatening to kill him. Lebajoa had called him a man who sleeps with his mother, Seala claimed.
“How could the Thamae police expect me to sit in a meeting with a disrespectful young man who insults and threatens to kill me?” Seala said. “I told them that I was not going to take it anymore, I had to leave.” “After all I was not interested in their proposal that I should conciliate with this Lebajoa who is disrespectful.” Seala said instead of dealing with his case the Thamae Police officers told him how it was important to make peace with Lebajoa. “I was refusing to have this meeting when Lebajoa arrived at the police station,” he said.
Seala said the meeting had barely started when Lebajoa started insulting him and threatening to shoot him.
Seala had accused Lebajoa of aiding Bird to steal an earth-moving machine from his office in Qoatsaneng in Maseru.
Seala lodged the cases with the police after Bird allegedly broke into his premises to steal his own earth-moving machine he had rented out to him. He said Lebajoa and other police officers had helped Bird. Bird has denied the allegations.
He claimed it is Seala who stole the machine from him and crossed with it to Lesotho without his approval.
Seala, however, is in possession of a written agreement bearing Bird’s signature.
The machine, according to cellular phone text messages seen by this paper, was collected by Bird himself from the Eastern Cape and delivered to Seala. Bird admitted that he broke into Seala’s premises but denied that he had gone to steal the machine. He said he was merely trying to recover the machine from Seala. When asked why he had not reported the matter to the police Bird said it was “a genuine mistake”. Lebajoa told this paper on Saturday that Seala was not telling the truth.
He said Seala had actually arranged with the men to enter with Bird to steal the machine from him so that Bird could pay them. He said the reason the Thamae police wanted them to talk was because Seala had insulted him over the phone.
“I have never insulted Emile (Seala) and he is not telling the truth when he says I threatened to shoot him,” Lebajoa said.
“That is a criminal offence and I as a police officer would not do that, especially in front of other police officers who would arrest me right there,” he said.
“This man would just not talk to us. He was uncooperative from the beginning of this case.”