The Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP), Paseka Mokete, appeared before Maseru Magistrate Senekal Qobolo on charges of sexually assaulting a female subordinate police officer. He was released on free bail and is expected back in court on 24 July 2020.
According to the charge sheet read out by magistrate Qobolo, DCP Mokete is charged “with a sexual offence” after he allegedly touched the buttocks of Inspector ‘Makatleho Mphetho near parliament without her consent on 29 April 2020.
DCP Mokete is also charged with the crime of assault after he “unlawfully and intentionally” assaulted Inspector Mphetho by pulling and dragging her on the ground. He is also charged with malicious damage after he allegedly tore the pair of trousers Inspector Mphetho was wearing when the sexual offence was allegedly committed.
DCP Mokete was represented by three prominent lawyers, Attorneys Kuili Ndebele and Monaheng Rasekoai as well as Advocate ‘Mabatṧoeneng Hlaele. The crown was represented by Adv Pontṧo Janki.
Mr Rasekoai petitioned the court to grant DCP Mokete free bail, saying he was determined to stand trial to clear his name.
“The accused is the second in command of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service and an officer of this court. All his obligations are within this jurisdiction and therefore has no reason to abscond trial.
“As a matter of fact, he wants to clear his name and he would even want the case to proceed now. He understands that he does not have to interfere witnesses and stand trial. We pray that he be granted bail on his own cognisance,” Mr Rasekoai said.
Adv Janki then told court that although the crown had no objections to DCP Mokete being granted bail, the alleged victim (Insp Mphetho) was opposing it. Magistrate Qobolo then adjourned proceedings to enable Adv Janki to confer with Insp Mphetho about the grounds for opposing the bail and for DCP Mokete’s lawyers to prepare their defence.
After the break which lasted close to an hour, Adv Janki informed the court that they had reached a consensus not to oppose bail.
Magistrate Qobolo subsequently granted DCP Mokete free bail on condition that he does not interfere with witnesses, attends court remands and stands trial to finality.