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Fifth Christmas for Kamoli inside

Business

…as matter is moved to next year

Mohloai Mpesi

As of today, it is apparent that former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli is set to spend his fifth Christmas languishing in prison after two high profile cases involving him were deferred to next year January and March respectively.

Acting judge of the High Court Justice Charles Hungwe postponed the case in which Kamoli is charged for the murder of another late former army chief Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao who was shot dead on June 25, 2015. The matter has been postponed to January 24 to 28, 2022.

The other matter is on the attempted murder case where the latter allegedly bombed the house of the former first lady, Maesiah Thabane nee Liabiloe Ramoholi in 2014 at Moshoeshoe II.

Kamoli was incarcerated in 2017 along with Major Pitso Ramoepana, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Sergeant Malefane Heqoa and Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko in the Thabane matter. He is also charged in the Mahao matter along with Sargent Lekhooa Moepi, Corporal Marasi ‘Moleli, Sargent Motsamai Fako, Corporal Motšoane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Corporal Tšitso Ramoholi, Captain Haleo Makara and Captain Litekanyo Nyakane.

Among the witnesses who have thus far taken the stand is retired member of the army, Thato Phaila whose testimony included aversion that Kamoli was in fact, not involved in the plot to arrest the late Mahao, which plot led to his untimely demise.

He said there had been a plotted mutiny deliberated to overthrow the then army command led by Kamoli. He said the plot was planned by Lance Corporals Jobo, Motene, Brigadier Motoa, Colonel Nkeli, and Captain Mokhothu and others, while the civilians were Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane and former Police Commissioner Khothatso Tšooana.

The bombs’ matter was deferred to March 14 to 25, 2022.

The case had an application of jurisdiction from the defence counsel where they argued that the matter was not supposed to be heard before the High Court as it is an attempted murder case, thus has to be referred to the lower Magistrate Court. The issue was argued in June 15 this year.

In their argument, the accused maintain that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the citing section 90 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, that all other offences are tried in the Magistrate Court except treason, murder and sedition, and that the Director of Public Prosecution’s action to use section 144 would not save the action of the DPP because the court was not given the reasons behind the decision to directly try the accused before the High Court. However, their bid was dismissed with the reasons that their submissions lack sound basis to decline jurisdiction.

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