MP demands action over unresolved murders
…vows not to rest until all cases have been prosecuted
A LEGISLATOR from Development Planning Minister Selibe Mochoboroane’s Movement for Economic Change (MEC) says she will not rest until her mother’s killers are brought to book.
Proportional representation MP ‘Mantšiuoa Mosothoane also vowed not to rest until justice is done in all other unresolved murder cases.
Ms Mosothoane’s mother, ‘Malekhotla Motjamela, was allegedly murdered by a fellow Mohale’s Hoek villager in 2015. She was 84 years old at the time.
A male suspect was arrested a day after the killing but he was later freed and the case went cold.
Ms Mosothoane revived the issue by demanding answers on the progress of the case from Law and Justice Minister Professor Nqosa Mahao during a parliamentary session on Thursday.
“Honourable Mosothoane asks the Minister of Justice and Law if he is aware of the Case No. RCI/01/2015 and CR268/15 which was registered on 8 December 2015 and which was brought before the Director of Public Prosecutions on 09/12/2015 (Ref. No. L/DP/660/2015), concerning the ritual murder of one (Motjamela) who was killed on the 15th of December 2015.
“To date the case has not been heard in the High Court and if the minister is aware of it, how soon will the case will be heard as the suspect was released a long time ago,” Ms Mosothoane asked.
Prof Mahao said he was aware of the case and that the docket which had initially “vanished” was only found in June this year after a vigorous search by staffers in the DPP’s office.
“The docket was finally found in June 2020 following a vigorous search by staffers at the DPP’s office. The evidence is currently being reviewed. Once that process is done the case will be placed on the court roll for it to be heard,” Prof Mahao said.
Ms Mosothoane then said, “this ritual killing victim is my mother and I am lucky to be able to ask after her case today”. Her remarks caused fellow MPs who had been noisy until then to fall into a death-like silence.
“There is a lot of negligence in the office of the DPP and that is why the file went missing. Will the Honourable Minister ensure that files are well kept in that office so that justice can be served expeditiously,” Ms Mosothoane asked.
In reply, Prof Mahao said his ministry had resolved to form a team dedicated to ensuring that records pertaining to the murder cases are well kept and the cases are prosecuted.
“The team will give monthly progress reports to the DPP (Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane). Our hope is that this sloppiness in the DPP’s office will come to an end,” Prof Mahao said.
Ms Mosothoane reiterated her vow to ensure justice is done in all the unresolved murder cases including her own mother’s case.
She recalled receiving an early morning visitor to her Mohale’s Hoek office on 20 November 2015. She was the district administrator at the time.
The visitor had come from her rural home in Mekaling in the district to inform her of her mother’s death.
“Upon arriving at the place where my mother lay dead, I removed the cloth which covered her and noticed that her body had deep wounds. Her throat had been slit and some flesh had been gouged out of her body.
“I knew then that she was a victim of ritual killing. We called the police and a post-mortem later determined that this was most likely a ritual murder,” Ms Mosothoane said.
She said a day later, a male suspect was arrested on the basis of the evidence supplied by the deceased’s then 10-year-old granddaughter who had witnessed an altercation between the suspect and her grandmother a day before her gruesome murder.
“After being interrogated, the suspect led the police to a spot where he had tried to conceal the evidence of the crime. There, they found a blood-soaked piece of the suspect’s blanket which he had been wearing when he committed the crime. He also unearthed a pair of shearing scissors which he had used to murder my mother. He was arrested but inexplicably released a few weeks later without being charged,” Ms Mosothoane said.
She said after the painful loss of her mother, she had resolved to seek justice on behalf of numerous Basotho who had lost loved ones to gruesome killings.
“I will never forget the feeling when I uncovered my mother’s body. The pain of losing a loved one under those circumstances never goes away especially when justice is not served.
“From now on, I dedicate my time in parliament to seeking justice for families whose loved ones have been murdered,” Ms Mosothoane said.