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Police threaten to get tough on Lipolelo murder

Ntsebeng Motsoeli/’Marafaele Mohloboli

DEPUTY Commissioner of Police (DCP) Paseka Mokete says the police are unhappy with popular famo musician, Rethabile Mokete, and two others who failed to honour summons to report for questioning in connection with the 14 June 2017 murder of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo.

DCP Mokete said they may have to use “other means” to get Mr Mokete, popularly known as Chakela and two others, Manama Letsie, and Nteborose Ralekuku to honour the police summons.

First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane was on 5 February 2020 charged with the murder of Lipolelo and the attempted murder of her companion, Thato Sibolla, in a shooting incident just two days before Dr Thabane was sworn in for his second stint as prime minister. It remains to be seen if Dr Thabane will also be charged after Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli said he was a suspect.

Several other high-profile people including ministers, Samonyane Ntsekele (Water), Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane (Communications) and Keketso Rantšo (Labour and Employment) have so far been called in for questioning in connection with the murder of Lipolelo.

A fortnight ago, the police summoned little-known Letsie for questioning but he did not pitch up. Instead, he told the police that he would only go to them in the presence of his lawyer who was out of the country at the time.

Ralekuku was also wanted for questioning but the police failed to find her at home or reach her on her mobile phone.

DCP Mokete said Ms Ralekuku’s lawyer visited the police last week and promised to bring her but that did not happen.

Last week, the South African-based Mr Chakela was called in for questioning but excused himself saying he was already in eSwatini en route to Mozambique on a business trip.

“We might have to find other alternatives of bringing in people for questioning when they fail to report as requested,” DCP Mokete told the Sunday Express without elaborating.

“We will find them ourselves. We have not yet decided whether to arrest them,” DCP Mokete said.

He said there was one more person whom the police believe has very crucial information on Ms Thabane’s murder and that they were in communication with the individual’s lawyer to have them report for questioning.

“There is one more individual that we would like to interview whom we believe has very important evidence and we are making arrangements with their lawyer for a meeting. We are at a stage where sufficient evidence has already been collected that only needs to be corroborated.

“We have to be very patient when we collect the evidence. If we rush into making arrests, we would have deprived ourselves the opportunity to ask more questions.

“Making premature arrests could be detrimental to our investigations. We need to be very careful when dealing with people who are our potential witnesses lest we fail to get all the information that particular person would otherwise provide,” DCP Mokete said.

Meanwhile the key witness and survivor in Ms Thabane’s killing Ms Thato Sibolla, who has since skipped the country has made fresh claims that her husband and kids have fled their home after noticing a car which is frequently parked near their home.

“According to the reports that I received from my neighbours, kids and husband, the owners of the car look very suspicious. From their description of the driver, it appears he fits the description of one of the assailants who tailed us on the day of the shooting.

“Everyone has had to flee our house in Naleli and they have gone into hiding. This does not sit well on me as there is nothing, I can do about it. My husband told me that he has reported the matter to the investigating officers,” said Ms Sibolla.



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