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Robbery suspect gives police the slip

Sello Morake


MASERU — A 33-year-old man who was facing charges of armed robbery slithered out of court on Friday after duping the police that he wanted to “relieve” himself.

Sello Maphepa, from Ha-Bosofo, told the police who were guarding him that he wanted to go to the toilet to answer the call of nature.

But as soon as the police let him free, Maphepa made his way out of the Maseru Magistrate’s Court to leave the magistrate and court officials stunned.

Maphepa is facing a charge of armed robbery after he allegedly robbed a public transport minibus at Ha-Abia on March 13 2009.

He was out of custody on bail.

According to the charge sheet, Maphepa, who was in the company of two other men, ambushed the driver before seizing the minibus from him.

He fled with the vehicle but was later arrested by the police.

Maphepa’s wife told court officials on Friday that her husband had phoned her to inform her that he was no longer coming to the court.

Public prosecutor Qinumutsi Tshabalala told the court that he was ready to prosecute the case but the accused was nowhere to be found.

Even Maphepa’s lawyer, Motlatsi Masoabi, did not know where his client was telling the court that he was lost for words.

Maseru magistrate, Senekal Qobolo, later told witnesses that the “accused had disappeared”.

“I will give him 40 minutes to report himself before the court.

“After 1200 hours we will be sure that someone ought to have known that the case should have been underway as it will be half a day,” he said.

The case was postponed to May 28.

A warrant of arrest has been issued against Maphepa.

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