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Over M25 million suit to LDF for murder, torture

Business

Mohloai Mpesi

The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) is faced with a gigantic lawsuit that would see the army side forfeiting a whooping M24.5million for allegedly assaulting and killing six civilians.

This comes after the family of the deceased one Rethabile Mokone claim that the latter was tortured to death last week, thus claiming a staggering M12 million while five other people claim they were also tortured by the men at the barracks who also demanded M2 500 000 as damages each.     

According to two letters of demand addressed to the Attorney General, copied to the LDF on Monday this week by advocate Zwelakhe Mda, the army was instructed to make immediate payments of a lucrative M24.5million.   

“We act on the instructions from the attorneys of Wilim Ashraf, Moozzam Khan, Shakeer Amir, Asnan Asif and Tumisile Moletsane. We are instructed by clients to demand from you, as we hereby do, immediate payment of the sum of M2 500 000 as damages to each of our clients,” the letter read.

“Clients instruct us that they were subjected to barbaric and prolonged inhuman, debasing and or subduing treatment by members of Lesotho Defence Force who tortured them for continuing period of more-than two hours and one Relebohile Vitalis Mokone was murdered in the process,” the letter continued.

The letter further explains that, “At all material times thereto, Private Mokati, Ntaitsane, Perekisi and Private Seliane were acting within the scope of their employment as members of Lesotho Defence Force. Commander and LDF are vicariously liable for unlawful escapades of the soldiers aforesaid.

“Kindly remit the stipulated sum to our chambers within a period of 30 days of receipt hereof, failing which our instructions are to institute proceedings against you, enforcing our clients’ rights before the High Court without further notice,” the letter read.

 The other letter also explains that Mokone was tortured mercilessly by the soldiers until he surrendered. Thus, demanding a sum of M12million as damages.

“We act on the instructions from the attorneys of Mrs. ‘Makatiso Mokone, Reabetsoe Mokone and Paballo Mokone.

“We are acting on the instructions from the attorneys of clients to demand from you, as we hereby do, immediate payment of the sum of M12 000 000 as damages for unlawful killing of Relebohile Vitalis Mokone.

“Clients instruct us that Relebohile Vitalis Mokone was subjected to prolonged inhuman, debasing or subduing treatment by members of the Lesotho Defence Force who tortured him until he died.

“At all material time thereto, Private Mokati, Ntaitsane, Perekisi and Private Seliane were acting within the scope of their employment as members of and Commander of LDF. The Commander and LDF are vicariously liable for unlawful escapades of the soldiers aforesaid.

“Kindly remit the stipulated sum to our chambers within a period of 30 days of receipt hereof, failing which our instructions are to institute proceedings against you, enforcing our clients’ rights before the high court without further notice,” the letter read.   

The litigants are said to have been part of men alleged to have been intercepted by border-patrolling army officers stationed between Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek as they attempted to smuggle wool and mohair into the neighbouring South Africa.

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