Connect with us


Metsing, Selibe want charges dropped



MASERU – MOTHETJOA Metsing and Selibe Mochoboroane have applied for a withdrawal of their treason charges arguing that they did not participate in the August 29, 2014 raids of police stations.

Advocate Motiea Teele KC, who is representing the two, told Justice ’Maliepollo Makhetha that the raid was a legal army operation which could not be classified as treason.

Retired army boss, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, Metsing, Mochoboroane and eight other soldiers are facing treason charges emanating from the raid.

They are also charged with the murder of police’s Sub-Inspector Monaheng Ramahloko who was gunned down during the raid.

At the time Metsing was the deputy prime minister and leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) which had formed a stormy coalition government with the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party.

Mochoboroane, who is now leader of the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and Health Minister in the new coalition government led by Prime Minister Sam Matekane, was the then LCD secretary general and communications minister.

Advocate Teele argued that his clients were wrongly charged with treason because they were not part of the army raid, which he also argued was legal.

He said the legality of the army raid welled from an intelligence report Lt Gen Kamoli had that the police were going to arm people who were going to massacre the LCD and Democratic Congress (DC) supporters during a protest march against the then Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

“They wanted him to open parliament but the police refused to give them the go-ahead indicating that there was an intelligence that some police officers were going to issue firearms to the ABC youth to harm the LCD youths if they continued with their protest,” Advocate Teele said.

“It was also found that the same intelligence was there within the LDF,” he said.

Advocate Teele said Lt Gen Kamoli had the right and responsibility to suppress any lawlessness that in his opinion could result in the killing of people.

The raid happened within hours after Thabane advised King Letsie III to fire Lt Gen Kamoli and replace him with the then Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao, whom he promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

Lt Gen Mahao was later killed in an operation the army said was meant to arrest him for mutinying against Lt Gen Kamoli the following year.

Advocate Teele told the judge that Lt Gen Kamoli’s dismissal was unlawful, citing the Lesotho Defence Force Act which spells the procedure for the sacking of the army commander.

He said the Act, provides that the King has to call the commander to a hearing or write him a letter telling him to state why he cannot be dismissed, which did not happen in the case of Lt Gen Kamoli.

Advocate Teele said the crown does not have such correspondence between the King and Lt Gen Kamoli stating that he instructed the army to raid police stations at a time when he was no longer the commander.

“There is no such file from the crown that shows whether the King had such meeting with the former commander, where he had given him the hearing as to why he would not terminate his employment,” he said.

He said Lt Gen Kamoli was still the commander with the mandate to suppress any uprising that could end with deaths of people in the country.

“He had a right that if he found an intelligence or rumours that indicate that there were people who wanted to cause instability in the country he could stop it.”

He said Lt Gen Kamoli “did a good job using his power and abiding by the law” to raid the police and disarm them before they could arm the ABC people who were to harm the LCD protesters.

Tholoana Lesenya

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Copyright © 2022. The Post Newspaper. All Rights Reserved