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Molibeli goes after LEPOSA spokesperson

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PC Mofokeng accused of concealing criminal record to get into police force

Nthatuoa Koeshe

POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has begun moves to fire the Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) spokesperson, Police Constable (PC) Motlatsi Mofokeng, for allegedly concealing his criminal conviction prior to being recruited into the police force 18 years ago.

PC Mofokeng is said to have been tried and convicted in the Butha-Buthe Magistrates’ Court for assaulting one Thabang Tsubane in 1999.

Commissioner Molibeli alleges that three years later in 2002, PC Mofokeng applied for admission into the police force but concealed his criminal record in contravention of the provisions of the Police Service Act.

Commissioner Molibeli now wants him to “show cause” why he should not be dismissed from the force in line with section 31 (1) (b) of the police act which states that an officer who gains admission into the police service through misrepresentation, concealing information and making a false statement in reply to any question should be fired.

“You will recall that on or about the 4 April 1999, while at or near Phaphama in Butha-Buthe district, you did intentionally and unlawfully assault one Thabang Tsubane…,” Commissioner Molibeli states in the “show cause” letter written on his behalf by the police’s Human Resource Officer, Superintendent Sello Marou, on 9 October 2020.

“You will vividly recall that on 4 April 1999, a case of criminal assault was opened against you…for having inflicted injuries and pain upon the body of the said Thabang Tsubane.

“You will also agree that on the 24th of August 1999 at the Butha-Buthe Magistrate Court before Her Worship Magistrate (‘Matankiso) Nthunya and Public Prosecutor Machoba, you were found guilty and convicted for the said crime.”

The letter states that in 2002, PC Mofokeng applied to join the police force. He was interviewed and subsequently employed as a member of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS). He is now accused of concealing his criminal conviction to gain admission into the police force.

“You will further not deny that your deliberate concealment of your involvement in criminal activities constitutes your gaining of admission into the police service through false representation…

“It is on the basis of the foregoing background that the commissioner of police has instructed me to demand from you, as I hereby do, reasons if any, why the commissioner of police may not invoke the provisions of section 31 (10 (b) against you.

“Further indicate reasons, if any, why you may not forfeit all your terminal benefits as part payment of the government moneys disbursed to you in the form of salary and other forms of payments to you in the belief that you are a genuine police officer.”

PC Mofokeng has up to 14 October 2020 to respond to the letter. He was not reachable on his mobile phone for comment on the issue yesterday.

The “show cause” letter comes at a time when Commissioner Molibeli and the top brass of LEPOSA are engaged in a war of attrition.

For more than a year now, the two sides have been at each other’s throats over a plethora of issues.

The militant police union accuses Commissioner Molibeli of bias and incompetence in handling the grievances of its members.

It accuses Commissioner Molibeli of entrenching his power by unprocedurally promoting his close allies like Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Paseka Mokete and Assistant Police Commissioner (ACP) Beleme Lebajoa.

It also accuses the police boss of failing to address the scourge of police brutality which could cost Lesotho the multi-million-dollar second compact under the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) if left unaddressed by February next year.

LEPOSA has even petitioned Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to fire Commissioner Molibeli. It has also filed a Constitutional Court application seeking the revocation of his powers to dismiss police officers without affording them a hearing.

Commissioner Molibeli has fought back by dismissing LEPOSA treasurer Lance Sergeant Mathebe Motseki and going after its secretary general Inspector Moraleli Motloli. He now wants to fire PC Mofokeng.

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