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‘Missing cop ran away from justice’

by Sunday Express
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Missing Cop Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng

Missing Cop Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng

POLICE Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng was no longer in the employ of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) when he went missing.

This is according to Officer Commanding Hlotse Police Station Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu’s opposing affidavit to a High Court application by PC Khetheng’s father — Thabo Khetheng — to compel his bosses to release him dead or alive.

PC Khetheng was stationed in Mokhotlong and last seen being arrested by his colleagues at a feast in Sebothoane, Leribe on 25 March this year according to papers filed on 18 July 2016 by Mr Khetheng.

Commissioner of Police Molahlehi Letsoepa, Officer Commanding Hlotse Police Station Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Minister of Police Monyane Moleleki, Minister of Defence Tšeliso Mokhosi, Commander Lesotho Defence Force Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, Director-General National Security Service, Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Attorney-General Tšokolo Makhethe are cited as first to eighth respondents respectively in the matter.

However, in his affidavit, Supt Tšukulu says PC Khetheng absconded from duty from 11 March and never reported back to work.

He accuses Mr Khetheng of deliberately omitting this “information” in his application saying it would be a clear indication he did not have intimate knowledge of his son’s movements and whereabouts.

Supt Tšukulu alleges PC Khetheng was implicated in the burning of

Officer Commanding Mokhotlong Police Snr Supt Makara’s house and another attempt to burn Supt Mafaufau’s house.

Supt Tšukulu states police recovered some blood stains in one of the houses’ window panes and took it to the laboratory.  He says investigations – that also included an identity parade of Mokhotlong police officers – pointed to PC Khetheng as the suspect.

Supt Tšukulu further alleges the investigations revealed PC Khetheng bought petrol from a service station in a container shortly before the acts of arson were committed, adding there was a smell of petrol in the house that was burnt “clearly showing” that it had been used in the commission of the crime.

Supt Tšukulu says PC Khetheng was criminally and disciplinarily charged, adding his disciplinary hearing started on 10 March.

However, on the following day of the hearing, says Supt Tšukulu, PC Ketheng absconded and “and never turned up for his remands in the arson case”.

He also tells the court PC Khetheng was “fetched” from his homestead in Leribe on 26 March by police officers. Supt Tšukulu says PC Khetheng arrived when he was on a lunch break, and ordered to wait for him at the Haelale waiting House until after lunch.

Supt Tšukulu says when he came back, PC Khetheng was nowhere to be found and attempts to locate him were fruitless.

He alleges PC Khetheng left on his own from Hlotse Charge Office on 26 March in the same way he left his work station and disciplinary hearing and that no one caused his disappearance. Supt Tšukulu also accuses Mr Khetheng of making “irresponsible allegations” against him.

PC Khetheng, says Supt Tšukulu, was probably hiding somewhere in a bid to avoid justice for his arson case.

According to High Court Assistant Registrar Advocate Stafford Sharite, counsels from the opposing sides would map a way forward in the case tomorrow.

The case is before Justice ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane. – Staff Writer/LeNA


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