Mokete faces sexual assault charge
THE Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP), Paseka Mokete, faces sexual assault charges after he allegedly manhandled a subordinate female officer.
This publication has seen a 10 June 2020 savingram where the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, states that she is convinced that there is a case of sexual harassment against DCP Mokete.
DCP Mokete denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the Lesotho Times last night. He said the allegations were raised by “people who are fighting me”. He did not mention any names.
The charges against him stem from a 30 April 2020 incident where he is alleged to have touched the buttocks of the complainant (name withheld) without her consent. According to DPP Motinyane, DCP Mokete was involved in a scuffle with the junior officer who had refused to return a letter that he had earlier given her.
“…according to this witness, who is a complainant, DCP Mokete manhandled her on 30 April 2020,” Adv Motinyane states in the savingram to the Maseru District Police.
“In the process of the attack, DCP Mokete touched her buttocks without her consent. The buttons of the complainant’s trousers even fell off as she lurched up to free herself from DCP Mokete’s grasp.
“After the complainant had freed herself, DCP Mokete pursued her and dragged her back to the motor vehicle where the fracas had started.
“The attack was precipitated by the complainant’s refusal to hand back a letter which DCP Mokete had just handed over to her. DCP Mokete wanted to retrieve the letter,” DPP Motinyane states. However, she does not disclose the contents of the letter.
DPP Motinyane therefore recommended the prosecution of DCP Mokete for the alleged sexual offence.
“I find that there is prima facie (on the face of it) evidence of contravention of Section 3 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act No 3 of 2003 and alternatively contravention of Section 30 of the Penal Code No 6 of 2010.
“Secondly, the accused (DCP Mokete) must be charged with contravening Section 72 of the Penal Code Act No 6 of 2010 and I direct that DCP Mokete must be charged accordingly. I further find that the unlawful sexual act (as defined in the Act) was committed under coercive circumstances.”
Section 30 of the Penal Code Act No.6 of 2010 states that: “A person who intentionally applies unlawful force to the person of another commits the offence of assault”.
Section 72 of the Penal Code Act No 6 of 2010 states that: “A person who, without lawful excuse, does any act with the intention of damaging property, even if singly or jointly owned or possessed, commits the offence of unlawful damage to property”.
Section 3 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act No 3 of 2003 states that: “A person who commits an unlawful sexual act with another person, or causes another person to commit an unlawful sexual act commits an offence”.
Contacted for comment yesterday, police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said, “I can confirm that there is such a case against DCP Mokete but I cannot tell what will happen as the police command will determine the way forward”.
DCP Mokete denied any wrongdoing, saying the allegations were raised by people who were fighting him.
“I haven’t received any formal communication regarding the issue. But I am ready to clear my name in court. I know what happened that day and it is not what is alleged in those papers. It’s just people fighting me but I am ready to appear in court so that everything can be cleared,” DCP Mokete said last night.
DCP Mokete has been in the news for spearheading the high-profile murder investigation and prosecution of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his wife, ‘Maesaiah.
The senior police officer and the DPP have been publicly trading barbs over the Lipolelo murder with DCP Mokete accusing Ms Motinyane of sabotaging the prosecution of the former first couple to protect them. The DPP came under severe criticism from the Court of Appeal over how she handled the first bail application of ‘Maesaiah.
DCP Mokete had even called for the replacement of Ms Motinyane as prosecutor in the Lipolelo murder trial. The two appeared to have smoked the peace pipe though the latest development signals a new feud.