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‘Witnesses are pushing a political agenda’



MASERU – A police officer charged with the murder of Constable Mokalekale Khetheng says prosecution witnesses connived to implicate him because they are pushing a political agenda. Inspector Mothibeli Mofolo told the High Court through his lawyer, Advocate Zwelakhe Mda, that the witnesses are driving the All Basotho Convention (ABC) agenda against him. He denied that Constable Khetheng was left under his care before he was abducted and murdered. Advocate Mda, during cross examination of witnesses, suggested that Inspector Mofolo was “being used as a sacrificial lamb to accuse him of a crime he did not commit”. He said the ABC “used Khetheng’s death to push their political agenda” to the extent that foreign judges have been engaged to preside over it. The court heard that when Constable Khetheng arrived at the Hlotse Police Station after his arrest, Inspector Mofolo was still in his office doing his work until he was called by Superintendent Thabo Tsukulu, the first accused, informing him that he had returned from lunch and he was ready to meet Constable Khetheng. However, according to the third crown witness, Sergeant Khothatso Mphutlane, who was part of a team that arrested Constable Khetheng from his home in Sebothoane, Leribe, she handed him over to Inspector Mofolo at the police station gate during their arrival. Sergeant Mphutlane told the court during her cross examination that when they arrived, Inspector Mofolo told them to leave Constable Khetheng in the car. She said she, together with the first crown witness Constable ’Mabohlokoa Makotoko, were instructed to take other suspects in other criminal cases to the charge office in the station while leaving Constable Khetheng in the parked police car. She said they arrested Constable Khetheng after Inspector Mofolo ordered that wherever they happen to see him, “we should arrest him as he is a suspect in the burning of Pitso House”. Pitso House is a building at the local ground for holding public gatherings. However, Inspector Mofolo denied that he made such an order. His lawyer suggested that Constable Khetheng “was never arrested hence there was no record of his arrest in the registration books at the station”. He explained that for a person to be arrested, he had to be registered in the books on his arrival then be taken into the cells. “But Khetheng’s case was different, there was no record that indicates that indeed he arrived at the station,” Advocate Mda said. “It is said he was left in the police car at the gate outside the station.” Advocate Mda asked the witness if ever that made sense for a police officer to have said she arrested a person and all of the sudden decided to take in the other criminals and leave the one she arrested in the car without even entering the police station. Sergeant Mphutlane replied that she believed they “did a good thing since we were ordered by our superior to leave him”. “We believed since Inspector Mofolo had ordered us to leave him in the car, Khetheng was left in good hands and after he was done with him, he would take him in and register him in the charge office,” she said. She however explained that “we both failed to do our responsibility to register a criminal upon his arrival at the station”. “It was also Inspector Mofolo’s responsibility to make sure that Khetheng was registered because we left him in his hands,” she said. Advocate Mda put it to the witness that Inspector Mofolo would tell the court that Constable Khetheng “was never arrested as there was no official record or docket from the police registration”. “Mofolo would further tell the court that he never made any order that Khetheng should be left in the car with him and he was never (left) in his hands,” he said. He said Inspector Mofolo will tell the court that by the time he went out of the station, the car was already parked in the station. He also said Inspector Mofolo will testify that he found Constable Khetheng with police Constable Ntoane when he came out of his office and both the witnesses were already in the offices. The case is continuing. ’Malimpho Majoro

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