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DJ sues police

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — A former radio presenter, ’Machabeli Moiloa, is suing the police for M4 million for the torture she allegedly suffered while in police custody in 2005.

Moiloa, who worked for Mo-Afrika FM and PC FM radio stations, is suing for malicious arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, defamation, torture and impairment of dignity.

In her court papers the former radio personality, who was popularly known as “Captain”, says the “malicious arrest” and “false imprisonment” shattered her dream of becoming an international actress.

Respondents in the case are the commissioner of police ‘Malejaka Letooane, Minister of Home Affairs Lesao Lehohla, and Attorney-General Ts’okolo Makhethe.

Moiloa says her harrowing ordeal started on November 25, 2005 when she was arrested for allegedly robbing local filmmaker, Silas Monyatsi, of M22 000.

The police claimed she had committed the crime at Skynet in Maseru West industrial area on October 31, 2005.

The court papers say Moiloa was wrongfully and unlawfully arrested “without probable cause in Maseru”.

She was detained and kept in custody at Maseru Central Prison, the court papers show.

“While under such arrest and detention plaintiff (Moiloa) was tortured by being assaulted incessantly, pinched, pushed and pulled around,” the court papers allege.

She was not provided proper sanitation, bedding, sitting and washing facilities, food and water, the papers further allege.  Turn

 Moiloa claims to have “suffered physical and verbal, abuse and she was insulted and ridiculed by the police”.

She further claims that her “good name and character, dignity and privacy” were impaired.

Moiloa was detained at the Maseru Central Prison and only granted bail on December 14 by the High Court, 20 days after her arrest.

She says in 2007 she failed to undertake a trip to Germany for actresses because she was still facing a charge of robbery.

Around June 27, 2007, the charges against her were dismissed.

She is claiming M450 000 for malicious arrest, M450 000 for false imprisonment and M22 000 for malicious prosecution.

The plaintiff is further claiming special damages.

Moiloa is also claiming M26 000 for medical expenses, M450 000 for future medical expenses and M80 000 for legal fees.

She wants M450 000 compensation for loss of prospects in her local and international career as an actress.

The crown counsel Thabo Molapo has however queried Moiloa’s claim as exorbitant.

Molapo says the claims are not supported by facts.

He has asked the court to dismiss the claim.

Moiloa’s lawyer, Advocate Koili Ndebele, told the court that when the matter goes to trial they will produce evidence to justify the claim.

He said it was not for the crown counsel to decide whether the amount claimed by the plaintiff was exorbitant or not.

The date of the ruling on the application has not yet been decided.

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