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All-knowing cop denies Ramanase’s hospital admission


…says it would be in flout of the facility’s modus operandi

Mafa Moleko

The obscurity surrounding the death of the late Thetsane Industrial factory worker, Motšelisi Ramanase at Thetsane surged this week after one Thetsane Police Post Detective Inspector Mphutlane refuted that Ramanase was admitted at Maseru Private with the gunshot wounds claiming there was no one to pay for her medical bills.

According to Mphutlane, the deceased was hurried to Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) following the rejection to be served at the Maseru Private Hospital because no family member was around to pay for her bills.

Following an interim order by the High Court requesting that the Commissioner of Police and six other respondents present the files that would shed light on the death of Ramanase, Mphutlane was quick to file his responses on the matter claiming that the deceased was not shot.

In his file, Mphutlane admitted that Ramanase was found lying down with wounds by the police officers where she was hurried to Maseru Private but was unfortunately not assisted pending the unanswered question of payments.

In the affidavit, Mphutlane denied that one police officer (Seeiso) told the deceased’s son that his mother was shot.

“I deny contents therein Seeiso did not tell the applicant that and that she was stable at Maseru Private,” he said.

This comes after the initial statement by the deceased’s son, Teboho Ramanase that Seeiso initially told him that he should not worry since his mother was in a stable condition at the Maseru Private Hospital.

However, the deceased is said to have been admitted with the gunshot wounds at Maseru Private by a qualified doctor. According to a report witnessed by this publication, the deceased had wounds on the front abdomen and the back side.

He said the corpse was said to belong to the police when the family had to release the body at QMMH stating that all the contents are noted.

Mphutlane further explained that the applicant (Teboho Ramanase) did not get it from the doctor from Maseru Private that the deceased was shot but from a pathologist, regardless the medical report stating that she was shot.

He mentioned that there is totally no link between the wounds and the police actions that if there was any connection between the two police could not have encouraged the family to carry out their own post mortem which the deceased’s family did not carry out.

He went on to say that it was intentional that the applicant failed to propel with the post mortem; however, the applicant disclosed to this publication that at the time the family had inadequate funds for post-mortem and the burial.

He said the applicant continued with the burial despite the advice given to consider post mortem. He said the applicant should consider that criminals might have stabbed his mother among the multitudes of the factory workers that day.

 â€œApplicant does not consider any possibility that criminals took advantage of the reigning situation of the strike on that night,” he said.

He also stated that the police commissioner who is one of the respondents requested to avail the cause of death report be absolved from the matter claiming the matter does not hold the commissioner liable to the incident.

He continued that by observing the wound at first glance through his experience, he could tell that the wound was not a gunshot, explaining that the gunshot makes a small dot on the entrance of the bullet and opens wide at its exit. He mentioned that the experts do not agree with Teboho that the deceased was shot.

“The applicant’s mother was not shot but it seems like a sharp object was used to piece her body,” he said adding that the police are not liable for the death of Ramanase.

Mphutlane claimed there was no medical form given from the Maseru Private as the deceased only received first aid to stop the oozing blood.

“I declare that the deceased was not admitted or diagnosed there because according to the hospital policy no patient is admitted before he or she is paid for. The cause of death is abdominal bleeding according to the report of the pathologist,” he said.

Teboho told this publication that he was previously called by QMMH office to collect the body but only later upon his arrival was he told that the body belonged to the police therefore he should go to the Thetsane Police station before the release of the body.

“I was so surprised because my mum was not an unidentified corpse, I could not understand but later went to Thetsane Police post and, upon our arrival at QMMH we were told that she was taken to Pitso ground police station for post mortem,” he explained.

However, according to Teboho, his mother gave Seeiso the numbers to call so that her family can be made aware that she was in hospital.  This is when Teboho and Seeiso communicated over the phone. Teboho stated that he was able to talk to the doctor who received his mother at the Maseru Private Hospital who explained that she was still talking and that she seemed to know the police officer who brought her in.

Teboho further showed this publication a medical report which evidenced that Ramanase was indeed shot and was transferred to QMMH later that night.

The medical report shows the small hole from the back of the deceased and a wide open from the front. “On Mphutlane’s file he explained how the gunshot wounds look like and this is the very same way they are on the report,” he said.

Furthermore, Teboho told this publication that the wounds on the deceased were all across the stomach. He also disclosed that the deceased clothes seem to have hole of a bullet not that of sharp object as Mphutlane claims.

Even though Mphutlane claims that no one can be served at Maseru Private before they are paid for, Teboho disclosed to this publication that he paid for the deceased days after the burial.

“I have papers with me that proof the dates that I paid for my mother when I went to collect the medical report days after the funeral and this implies that Mphutlane is not telling the truth about the payments made in that hospital.

“On her clothes only one small whole like that of a gunshot is available but the other wound we found on her after the police post mortem does not reflect on the T-shirt.

“Looking at the wounds and the shirt she was wearing, you can see that the other wound was cut undressed and that could not happen at the strike scene but at the private areas,” he continued.

Ramanase died during the national textile factory workers strike over the gazette on the salary increment, it is this strike where the Special Operation Unit (SOU) police officers were seen by this publication brutally assaulting not only the striking workers but the street vendors from Thetsane industrial area as well.

Mokoena Motsoanakala, a street vendor in this area was brutally beaten when he tried to explain to the police officers that he was not part of the chanting factory workers. Mokoena was injured on the right shoulder as a result of the incidents in May this year. In begging of this month a suspect named TÅ¡eliso Sekonyela was reported to have been brutally beaten until he died at QMMH with broken ribs.

The court had ordered seven respondents to avail the cause of death of Ramanase but only Detective Mphutlane responded in an all-knowing fashion where he attempted to answer for everyone including police, the two hospitals and all.

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