Moafrika boss remanded in defamation case
THE editor-in-chief of a local radio station, Moafrika FM, Ratabane Ramainoane, briefly appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court last Friday, charged with defamation over the utterances he made over his radio station last month.
He is charged under section 104 of the Penal Code Act after he allegedly defamed Senior Inspector Beleme Lebajoa during a radio programme. Prosecution alleges that Ramainoane accused Snr Insp Lebajoa of torturing Tšeliso Mokhosi, the deputy leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) when he was arrested for the murder of Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng.
Police constable Khetheng was killed in March last year.
Mokhosi is charged alongside some police officers including the Leribe Police Commander, Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu.
However, Ramainoane defamation case arise from allegations that during the first week of September 2017, he broadcasted defamatory material through MoAfrica FM.
The court heard that Ramainoane had called on Snr Insp Lebajoa to explain himself in the torture allegations.
“Luckily, Lebajoa is still alive. He would be in a position to explain who gave him the instructions to assault people in the manner he did. I do not think he is such a cruel person who could be doing this, because the police acts on the instructions…”
The quotation proceeds: “…since Lebajoa is still alive, you must come and disclose before the commission whether the fact that you have assaulted (Tšeliso) Mokhosi was due to your own cruelty, or you were instructed to do so.”
According to the charge sheet, the said accusations concerning Snr Insp Lebajoa were said “with the intent to defame him and to commit an offence of defamation and thereby contravening the provisions of the Penal Code Act.”
Ramainoane was released on free bail with conditions that he should not interfere with state witnesses and to stand trial to finality.
He is expected to appear again in court on 2 November 2017.