Pascalinah Kabi | Mohalenyane Phakela
THE Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Paseka Mokete has stopped short of calling ‘Makarabo Mojakhomo a liar after she accused the police of illegally detaining her and allegedly handing her over to kidnappers who were supposed to have killed her in May 2019.
Ms Mojakhomo, a former director of the Maesaiah Trust Fund run by the incarcerated former First Lady ‘Maesaiah, made the sensational claims against the police in her court affidavit filed in opposition to the murder-accused ‘Maesaiah’s application for bail.
She accuses the police of working with ‘Maesaiah who stands accused of murdering her husband, former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelo, on 14 June 2017. She says ‘Maesaiah should not be granted bail because she would use it to plot hers and other witnesses’ assassinations to prevent them from testifying against her.
She accuses the police and ‘Maesaiah of illegally detaining her on trumped charges of defrauding the latter’s trust fund of approximately M200 000. She says the reason for her illegal detention by the police, allegedly on ‘Maesaiah’s orders on 29 May 2019, was that the latter knew she had incriminating information that she organised Lipolelo’s murder and paid his killers.
She indicates that she would soon press charges against ‘Maesaiah and the police, including Assistant Commissioner Beleme Lebajoa, for attempted murder, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice and the “murder of the child I was pregnant with that I lost through miscarriage while in unlawful detention”.
However, she does not explain how she escaped from police custody and her would-be kidnappers and fled to her current exile in South Africa.
But DCP Mokete this week told the Lesotho Times that there were a lot of gaps in Ms Mojakhomo’s submissions. It was therefore difficult to take action against the police officers who allegedly illegally detained and handed her over to people who would have killed her.
“There are a lot of gaps in Mojakhomo’s story that need to be answered before we can consider any action against the police officers that she is referring to,” DCP Mokete said this week.
“For instance, she is not telling us how she fled from her alleged kidnappers or about the kind of relationship between her kidnappers and ‘Maesaiah. She disappeared from the police custody during the day, probably around 11am, and she could have called for help.
“Her statement attracts a lot of questions and we need clarity from her. We cannot do anything about those allegations right now because we need clarity from her and unfortunately, she is not in the country,” DCP Mokete said.
Police spokesperson Mpiti Mopeli last week said Ms Mojakhomo was still a fugitive from justice as she had fled from custody after being detained in connection with the fraud allegations.
The ex-first lady’s lawyer, Advocate Salemane Phafane, last week argued that ‘Maesaiah should be granted bail because she was “so harmless that she cannot even hurt a fly”.
Adv Phafane poked holes into the affidavits of Mr Thabane’s daughter, Adv ‘Mabatṧoeneng Hlaele, shooting survivor Thato Sibolla and Ms Mojakhomo. He said there was no way ‘Maesaiah would suddenly want to harm witnesses now when she had known since 2018 that she was a suspect in the Lipolelo murder.
With specific reference to Ms Mojakhomo, he said, “Mojakhomo steals a lot of money from the petitioner (‘Maesaiah), about M200 000”.
“She escaped from lawful custody which she covers up and the theft to claim that she was kidnapped. It is simply nonsensical. How would police arrest her in daylight and then kidnap her from their own station? She is a self-confessed thief who no longer fears the police but the petitioner (‘Maesaiah). She only resurfaces when there is a bail petition by her previous employer,” Adv Phafane said.