Today is D-day as Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Paseka Mokete is about to find out his fate following his application to have a sexual offence case against him dropped.
A ruling of Magistrate Peter Murenzi comes after Mokete applied for discharge last month citing that there was no case to answer as the litigant who is the Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) Deputy Secretary General, Inspector â€˜Makatleho Mphetho had staged a malicious vendetta case meant to taint his name.
This came after the prosecution which was led by advocate Motene Rafoneke furnished the court evidence to prove that Mokete had manhandled thus sexually assaulting the complainant by touching her buttocks while trying to retrieve a letter of her â€œtermination of membership of LEPOSAâ€ resultantly tearing off Mphethoâ€™s belt-loop and pocket-buttons from her police uniform pants on May 30, 2021 at the National Assembly.
Mokete who was represented by advocate Monaheng Rasekoai said his intentions were not to touch Mphethoâ€™s buttocks but to deliver the letter which, due to squabbles that erupted thereto, ended tearing her belt-loop.
During the debate of the discharge application, Rasekoai argued that Murenzi will have to determine whether his client (Mokete) is a violent man, sexual predator who would stop at nothing, leaving his opulent office behind mahogany desk, rush straight to the National Assembly premises targeting the buttocks of the complainant and whether the litigant is a cunning vindictive woman who would stop at nothing but to have his clientâ€™s name mudded.
His submission was that the evidence is inadequate to sustain a case to answer, even better a case at all.
â€œThere is absolutely no case at all to answer,â€ he said.
â€œWe know and the evidence has been led before this court. We have heard some audio clips to which the complainant made bare denial where we learnt of someone whose voice is peculiarly similar to hers saying â€˜I am going to embarrass him in the media so that the public knows what kind of a person he is,â€™ we have that evidence on record.
â€œClearly this was a calculated, coordinated and vindictive endeavour on the part of the complainant to have the accusedâ€™s dignity and name dragged in the mud,â€ he said.
Contrarily, Rafoneke argued that whether the accused indirectly touched the buttocks with absent intentions, the act itself is sufficient to sustain the case as cited under the Sexual Offence 2006.
â€œClearly there is an ample evidence to show that the touching of the buttocks did happen and that proves a commission of an offence under section 3 (2).
â€œEven if the buttocks were touched and in no direct contact as he wanted to reach out for his letter and unfortunately ended up touching the buttocks, the Act is very clear that whether it is direct or indirect, it is an offence,â€ he continued.
He charged that Mokete knew better as a seasoned law enforcement officer who knows better about a crime and that touching of buttocks amounts to such. He further charged that the accused person is also a seasoned lawyer and not only conversant with the position of the law but was trained in that regard.
â€œHe knows that even if reaching out and retrieving the letter from the complainant and the only way is to grab her pants to touch her buttocks in order to contain and retrieve the letter, in his mind it was clear that he will be committing an offence.
â€œSo he cannot come here and tell the court that when he left the office he never intended to touch the buttocks, the issue is that at that particular moment when he contemplated to grabbing the pants and touching the buttocks he should have been able to realise that in doing so he was going to commit a crime.
â€œâ€¦. and we are saying he knew and was aware but he proceeded anyway, therefore the issue of mens rea or mental state at the time as compared to the submissions we are making now makes it clear that he committed his actions with a clear mind that what will result is an offence,â€ he said
Magistrate Murenzi will hand down his ruling today at the Magistrate court.