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Khetheng evidence disappeares

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MASERU – EVIDENCE that could show whether Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng was arrested at Hlotse Police Station before he was abducted has disappeared. The evidence, an Occurrence Book, details the ins and outs of every arrested person at a police station.

Without this Occurrence Book it is difficult for the defence to show the court that Khetheng was never in their hands shortly before his disappearance as the crown claims.

It is also equally difficult for the crown to show the court that Khetheng was arrested and spent some time in the hands of the now murder-accused police officers before his disappearance.

Defence lawyer Advocate Zwelakhe Mda, appearing for Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, told the court on Monday that the crown witness Deputy Commissioner of Police Beleme Lebajoa should account for the disappearance of the Occurrence Book (OB).

Advocate Mda said the last time that the occurrence book was seen was when it was taken to the court to be used in the then habeas corpus application filed by Khetheng’s father, Thabo Khetheng.

He said the blame should not be put on his client nor his co-accused as they explained that the OB was in the possession of Advocate Khutlang to be used in the court. He further pressed that the investigation team could be in a better position to know better about the whereabouts of the book.

Advocate Mda argued that DCP Lebajoa, who was Inspector at the time, was the lead investigator in that case and had full access to those books even after the case. The court further heard that even if the book was placed in the legal section of Adv Khutlang, the investigative officers still had access to them.

The issue of the missing OB arose after the defence lawyers emphasized that PC Khetheng was never arrested in March. This would help to give the court enough evidence that the OB should be looked at to see if there was anywhere it was recorded that PC Khetheng was ever arrested.

But the lead prosecutor Advocate Shaun Abrahams told the court that there was no book of those dates from the police station. And the witnesses who might know what happened to the Occurrence Book between March to April 2016 have already testified.

Advocate Abrahams said the first witness, Police Constable Mokatsanyane Lematla, who was a record officer in 2016 told the court that the last time he saw that book was when it was given to Inspector Mathibeli Mofolo. Inspector Mofolo is one of the accused.

PC Lematla said the book needed to be used in the High Court. PC Lematla told the court that SS Tšukulu had instructed him to release the books and they were never returned. The current record officer, Sub Inspector Mojalefa Posholi informed the court that the March to April 2016 OB was indeed missing.

He said the other books for earlier dates and after March – April 2016, are still there. Sub Inspector Posholi said he was not aware of the missing book until the investigators wanted to see it.

He told the court in his evidence-in-chief that nobody had ever told him about the whereabouts of the book as he was the one responsible for keeping all police records, especially the used ones.

He said he was working with Senior Inspector Mabitle Madona, one of the accused in the case, in that office. Sub Inspector Posholi said when he asked about that book, he was informed that Inspector Mofolo took one of the OBs and never explained why he took it. Inspector Mofolo is one of the accused in the case.

’Malimpho Majoro

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