Court orders Molibeli to reinstate fired recruits

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE High Court has ordered embattled Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli to reinstate 12 recruits who were dismissed from the Police Training College (PTC) in May 2022.

Delivering judgement yesterday, Justice Tšeliso Mokoko said Commissioner Molibeli’s decision to expel the recruits was “irregular and wrongful and therefore, null and void”.

Justice Mokoko ordered the reinstatement of the recruits into the police training programme in Maseru without any loss of status and benefits.

“The respondent is hereby ordered and directed to reinstate the applicants back into the Police Training College recruitment programme without loss of status and benefits and to pay the applicants any arrear salaries which may have been paid in their absence,” Justice Mokoko said.

The 12 applicants were Moliehi Dlamini, Mokhethi Damane, Lebaka Matiea, Kopano Ramokhoro, Ngaka Lenka, Mojela Gugushe, Thabang Maime, Lechesa Lepheane, Poloko Sekhohola, Refiloe Kheleli, Moorosi Kalane and Sebongile Cekwane.

Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa was the second respondent in the application.

At the time of their dismissal, police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said the recruits were sent home after they were found to be “medically unfit to begin training while the others were dismissed due to their unbecoming behaviour”.

Police sources had said four women were found to be pregnant, while the male recruits were suspected of involvement with the notorious juvenile criminal gang known as Manomoro.

Manomoro is a gang of hardened youthful ex-convicts who include Famo musicians in their ranks. They can be identified by their tattoos. The gang terrorised residents in various parts of Maseru and its environs last year. They were accused of theft, burglaries, armed robberies, rape and assault among other crimes.

Justice Mokoko’s ruling is a yet another blow to Commissioner Molibeli who is facing the sack over a plethora of charges including his failure to address police brutality and escalating crime rates.

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