MASERU — Controversial cameraman Habofanoe Ntsie (pictured) has been convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for negligent driving.
But he won’t be doing time.
Magistrate Amanduse Tapole on Friday wholly suspended the jail sentence or M1 000 fine on condition that Ntsie does not commit a similar offence in the next three years.
“The accused is found guilty of negligent driving and is sentenced to a one-year imprisonment or a fine of M1 000,” said Tapole when delivering judgment.
“The sentence is suspended for three years on condition that the accused does not commit an offence relating to road traffic or any offence involving the use of force or threats.”
Tapole warned Ntsie that should he commit a similar offence in the next three years the sentence will be reinstated.
The magistrate said Ntsie had been lucky to escape with a suspended sentence because he had been previously convicted and cautioned for a similar offence by the same court.
He however said he had not been able to get hold of that previous conviction to use it in the current case.
Tapole said the crown had proven its case against Ntsie beyond reasonable doubt.
Ntsie was convicted of hitting a car belonging to National Security Service (NSS) agent Sekake Mohale on February 15.
The court heard that Ntsie fled the accident scene before the police arrived to record his statement and collect evidence.
During trial Ntsie had denied the allegations.
In mitigation, his lawyer Letuka Molati said Ntsie was a family man.
“We ask the court to be lenient in sentencing the accused. He is married with children,” he said.
Crown counsel was Molemohi Ntebele.
Ntsie alleged that Mohale and one of his colleagues in the NSS wanted to assassinate him.
This is not the first time that Ntsie has alleged a conspiracy to kill him.
When he appeared in the High Court in February to face two murder charges Ntsie alleged that some police officers were planning to kill him.
The murder charges were related to the death of his two neighbours, Souru Masupha and Habaka Mahao, in November 2004.
Last year Ntsie claimed there was a military and police conspiracy to kill him after he began investigating the circumstances surrounding the murder of Maile Mosisili, the son of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
Maile was found dead near Victoria Hotel in 2002 but his killers were never found.
But Ntsie claims his problems began shortly after he alleged that a syndicate of soldiers and police officers was involved in the murder of Mosisili’s son.