MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s son Maile was killed by an army officer in 2002 after he refused to release M20 million deposited into his bank account by some cabinet ministers, according to papers filed in the High Court this week.
The damning allegations are contained in photographer Habofanoe Ntsie’s plea in a case in which he is being sued by Advocate ’Mole Kumalo, a former soldier, for alleging that he killed Maile.
In papers filed on Tuesday, Ntsie (pictured) insists that it was Kumalo who fired the shot that killed Maile after he was sent by some cabinet ministers through the then army commander lieutenant Makhula Mosakeng.
Ntsie alleges that Kumalo was sent by Lieutenant General Makhula Mosakeng at the request of the late justice minister Shakhane Mokhehle and Tom Thabane, the All Basotho Convention leader who at that time was a cabinet minister, to kill Maile.
Shakhane Mokhehle was brother to the late Prime Minister and Lesotho Congress for Democracy founder Ntsu Mokhehle.
Both Thabane and Mosakeng, who is now a senator, yesterday vehemently denied the allegations.
Ntsie says Thabane and Mokhehle ordered Maile’s elimination after he refused to release M20 million that they had allegedly deposited into his bank account.
He does not explain how the money he claims belongs to the government of Lesotho ended up in Maile’s personal account.
He however claims that he has a recording of an interview in which Kumalo confirms that he killed the prime minister’s son.
Earlier this month Kumalo sued Ntsie for M2 million saying the photographer had damaged his reputation by alleging that he had killed Maile.
Kumalo said Ntsie’s allegations were untrue.
But Ntsie’s response was to repeat the allegations and allege that Thabane and Mokhehle hired Kumalo through Mosakeng to kill Maile.
This is the first time that Thabane and Mokhehle’s names have been linked to the murder which has remained unsolved since 2002.
A few months back the police dangled a M2 million reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Maile whose body was found in the bushes near Victoria Hotel.
After Maile’s death Kumalo was charged for the murder but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
At that time the court said this decision did not preclude the crown from reviving the case if it finds new evidence.
The crown never sought to revive the case.
Instead it is Ntsie, who claims to be a “research journalist”, who says he conducted his own investigation into the murder at the behest of an international news organisation.
Ntsie says it is Kumalo who told him that Thabane and Mokhehle had asked Mosakeng to find them a “sharp shooter” to kill Maile “because he is refusing to release their money”.
“In the year 2000 at or near Maseru Post Office the plaintiff (Kumalo) met the defendant (Ntsie) and during the interview plaintiff told defendant that he (plaintiff) was commanded by Lt Mosakeng at the request of Shakhane Mokhehle and Tom Thabane that he (Mosakeng) should give him a sharp shooter to kill Maile Mosisili because he is refusing to release their money (sic),” Ntsie alleges.
Then when the murder happened in 2002, Ntsie claims, Kumalo confirmed to “one policeman Mosili and his team of investigators that he killed the Prime Minister’s son”.
“He killed the Prime Minister’s son and further said even the soldiers who were present know what happened to Prime Minister’s son.”
“It is true that he killed the Prime Minister’s son for he confirmed it.” Ntsie says that the allegations he is being sued for are untrue and insists they are consistent with what Kumalo told him in an interview.
He also says he has a recording in which Kumalo confirms that he was Maile’s killer. Last night Thabane denied the allegations and said Ntsie “must go to a mental asylum because that is where he belongs”.
“He is mad,” Thabane charged.
“Where do I get M20 million that I can bank in the prime minister’s son’s account? Do I share monies with Shakhane? Shakhane and his brother Ntsu Mokhehle were my seniors in politics and I respected them.
They taught me politics but not killing people. There is something seriously wrong with Ntsie; I think he needs a psychiatrist,” a furious Thabane said.
“I have always suspected he was mad and now I have confirmed it.” Mosakeng said he does not know anything about Ntsie’s allegations.
“Anybody who says these things about my name is being silly,” he said. In his court papers Ntsie denies defaming Kumalo in local media.
He says in his application Kumalo has failed to identify the media houses that carried the allegations that he claims were defamatory.
He also says Kumalo has no reputation to talk about but even if he has one it is not worth the M2 million that he is claiming.
“He is not known for anything of inspiration but is well-known to be a man who has been charged with the murder of the Prime Minister’s son, whose case was withdrawn under circumstances permissible in law for the case to be reinstated (sic).
“This is what is going to happen at the end of this trial for a formal inquest is yet to be done into the death of Maile Mosisili amongst others, thus plaintiff is not off the hook as he wrongly assumes for a case of murder does not prescribe,” Ntsie says.
Ntsie has asked the High Court to dismiss Kumalo’s application with costs. The matter is yet to be allocated to a judge and a hearing date has not been set.