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High profile cases deferred

Business

Mohloai Mpesi

Former army boss Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli’s two high profile cases have been deferred to next Monday.

The decision to postpone the cases by the Acting Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe was stirred by the absence of some of the defence counsels in the matter. The cases include, inter alia, the murder attempt case where the latter is accused for allegedly bombing the house of former First Lady, Maesiah Thabane in 2014 at Moshoeshoe II.

The other matter is whereby Kamoli has been incarcerated in connection with the murder of Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao who was gunned down by fellow soldiers on June 25, 2015 where some witnesses have already testified before court.

Kamoli is accused alongside Major Pitso Ramoepana, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Sergeant Malefane Heqoa and Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko in connection to the Thabane matter. In the Mahao matter he is charged alongside 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.

The cases were pushed back by Justice Hungwe whose contract has just been renewed and extended to February 2022 following its expiration on October 30, 2021.

On a similar note, the murder case of the Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng was put on ice until Monday, this time because the lead crown, Shaun Abrahams was absent.

The prosecution counsel team which was represented by advocate Christopher Lephuthing requested for the postponement on the grounds that the lead crown advocate Abrahams was absent.

The case has four suspects including the Leribe Police Station’s Sub-Inspector Mothibeli Mofolo who is accused alongside Deputy Commanding Officer Thabo Tšukulu, Superintendent Mabitle Matona and Sub-Inspector Haleokoe Taasoane.

Four witnesses have already been called into the box to testify in the matter including Police Constable Tumelo Ntoane (42) who even shed-tears as he told the court how he had been forced to give false evidence regarding the death of Police Constable Khetheng who was allegedly slain on March 26, 2016.

“Prosecution is keen to proceed with this the case, but the problem we have is that the lead prosecutor, Abrahams was supposed to arrive yesterday but did not make it due to other commitments. The only time the prosecution will be able to prosecute the matter is on Monday when he has arrived. My instructions are to apply for postponement of the matter to Monday,” Lephuthing told the court.

However, in response to the matter, advocate Kabelo Mohau, countered the application stating that the crown is always absent when the case has to commence and that they laboured all the night to prepare for the job only to be postponed.

“I doubt that keenness because we have to proceed with this matter, I always tell advocate Nnaki Nku that we prepare all night for court only for the matter to be postponed.

“My instructions from my clients who have been languishing in prison for four years now are to oppose the postponement raised by the crown. Yesterday we had a discussion with advocate Lephuthing about Advocate Abrahams where I asked him why he could not make it, and before he could answer me he received a lengthy call,” protested Mohau.

Justice Hungwe lashed at the prosecution that the postponement needed not to come from them as was the case. He deferred the case to next Monday on the basis of advanced time as the court proceedings started late.

“This postponement is not supposed to come from the prosecution. The crown must be in a position not to distract the proceedings. The reason for postponement is not because of the application but because we have started late and we don’t have time to proceed.

“Since tomorrow I will be attending the judges workshop, on Monday we proceed with the case whether advocate Abrahams is available or not,” Justice Hungwe said.      

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