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Moramotse off the hook



MASERU – THABO Moramotse, the son of Public Service Minister Lehlohonolo Moremotse, has been acquitted of the murder of his sister-in-law. This, after Justice Semapo Peete ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that Moramotse murdered his brother’s wife, ’Mateboho Moramotse, in 2016.

Justice Peete said the confession that the police claimed Moramotse made could not be accepted as credible evidence because it was made under duress. The police had alleged that Moramotse made the confession before the later Magistrate Phethise Motanyane.

Moramotse did not take the witness box but told the court, through his lawyer Advocate Salemane Phafane KC, that the police forced him to confess to the murder. Moramotse told Justice Peete that Assistant Commissioner of Police Motlatsi Mapola instructed him on what to say to the magistrate.

He said ACP Mapola threatened to kill him if he changed the dictated confession. The confession was the prosecution’s main evidence against Moramotse.

Justice Peete said he had no option but to acquit Moramotse because there was no evidence linking him to the murder and the confession was not credible. The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, had earlier admitted that since the court had rejected Moramotse’s confession she had no other evidence against him.

She said the confession was that Moramotse will be implicated in the murder.

“There is nothing I can do,“ Advocate Motinyane said.

When the confession took centre stage during the trial, Advocate Motinyane had argued that Moramotse did not deny that he confessed but said he had not made it voluntarily. Advocate Phafane KC said the court had no reason to put his client in the “box to answer the case that did not involve him”.

He said if the court allows that to happen, his client might find himself saying things that might implicate him. Advocate Salemane Phafane said the crown has no evidence against his client.

“Even the witnesses who testified said nothing about Moramotse being a suspect in this matter,” Advocate Phafane said.

He told the court that there was no evidence as to who shot ’Mateboho. Advocate Phafane further told the court that there was no evidence of whether the shells were found next to the body or not.

He said the crown only relied on a confession which his client said he made under duress. Advocate Phafane said so far there had never been any evidence as to who killed ’Mateboho.

Justice Peete said even though he has acquitted Moramotse, “one day the truth will come out”. He said his prayer is that “whoever committed murder, the crime should haunt him or her for the rest of their life”.

“My wish is that the person responsible for the murder should go to the grave earlier than expected.”

’Malimpho Majoro

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