Missing cop’s case postponed
A CASE in which the father of missing Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng seeks to compel his bosses to release him dead or alive has been postponed to 5 August 2016 after the respondents expressed their intention to oppose the application.
The constable’s father, Thabo Khetheng, made the urgent High Court application on Friday which large crowds who packed the courtroom.
According to papers filed last Monday by Mr Khetheng through Advocate Alphonce Molati, his son was stationed in Mokhotlong and allegedly last seen being arrested by his colleagues at a feast in Sebothoane, Leribe in March this year.
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.
The certificate of urgency alleges PC Khetheng was being “kept by the police (or) alternatively joint disciplined forces of Lesotho at a place unknown to the applicant”.
“Applicant has no alternative remedy in the face of a continuing illegal conspiracy to keep away his son, policeman Khetheng, at a place unknown by him and he fears for his life,” reads part of the certificate of urgency.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Khetheng says: “While my son was in Mokhotlong, the government house allocated to the Officer Commanding Mokhotlong police station got burned or it caught fire.
“In the aftermath, my son was suspected to have burned it. He was arrested and charged. He was ultimately released on bail.”
Mr Khetheng alleges he was told by PC Khetheng after his release that during his detention in Mokhotlong “the Commissioner of Police arrived in Mokhotlong police station and found my son locked in chains and lying on the ground”.
“He (PC Khetheng) informed me that the Commissioner of Police, who was accompanied by high ranking government officials and other members of the disciplined forces, remarked in his face that although the police had arrested him, they have not done work (sic),” alleges Mr Khetheng.
“Within a short period of time of hearing this information, my son was arrested while at a feast in Sebothoane in Leribe and has since disappeared for good.”
He claims PC Khetheng was arrested by three police officers “led by the fourth officer who stays in the same village as my son” and taken to Hlotse Police Station.
However, upon arriving at Hlotse Police Station to enquire on his son’s whereabouts, Mr Khetheng says he was told by a “very high ranking police officer” that in his recollection and the station’s records, PC Khetheng had not been detained at the station on 26 March 2016 “or any time thereafter”.
The constable’s father also claims he was informed by “other members of the disciplined forces” of an alleged “cover up” of PC Khetheng’s disappearance.
The judge who will preside over the case is set to be allocated tomorrow, with the respondents expected to file their opposing papers by 1 August 2016.
Advocate Letsie Moshoeshoe appeared for the Respondents, while Advocate Molise Molise represented the Applicant on behalf of Advocate Letuka Molati.