Drama in missing cop case
POLICE Senior Inspector Matona on Monday refuted evidence led in the High Court that his colleague, Inspector Mofolo instructed him to assemble a team to work on the case of missing Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng.
He was answering questions during cross-examination by King’s Counsel Advocate Motiea Teele in a case in which the High Court is investigating the whereabouts of PC Khetheng who allegedly disappeared from Hlotse Police Station on 25 March 2016.
PC Khetheng’s father Thabo Khetheng lodged an application in the High Court on 18 July 2016 seeking an order compelling the police authorities to present PC Khetheng alive or dead. PC Khetheng was last seen when he was arrested by his colleagues in Sebothoane, Leribe on 25 March this year.
The court called for oral evidence to ascertain what happened during PC Khetheng’s arrest at Hlotse Police Station after the applicants’ version of events contradicted that of the police.
In her testimony, policewoman Makotoko told the court that she was one of the police officers who arrested PC Khetheng on 25 March 2016.
She said after they brought him to Hlotse Police Station Inspector Mofolo called Senior Inspector Matona and told him to assemble a team to deal with PC Khetheng’s case.
She was the first witness for the applicant.
But in a new twist, the fifth witness for the applicant Inspector Matona denied that he was called by Inspector Mofolo to assemble a team to deal with PC Khetheng’s case.
He said: “At that time I was senior to Inspector Mofolo and he could not give me any instructions because he was my junior.”
Advocate Teele further asked him if it was true that he was promoted to the rank of Senior Inspector because he was involved in PC Khetheng’s disappearance.
He replied: “I was promoted because I am a hard working police officer.”
The case was postponed to 5 December 2016 to allow Advocate Teele to bring witnesses to the witness box to defend the police after Advocate Letuka Molati told the court on Monday that he had finished calling witnesses to testify on behalf of the applicant.
PC Khetheng was stationed in Mokhotlong and was allegedly last seen being arrested by his colleagues at a feast in Sebothoane, Leribe in March this year. This is according to papers filed by his father.
The Commissioner of Police, Officer Commanding Hlotse Police Station, Minister of Police, Minister of Defence, Commander Lesotho Defence Force, Director-General National Security Service, Prime Minister and Attorney-General are cited as first to eighth respondents respectively in the matter.
In the court papers,his father wants PC Khetheng’s continued detention by the respondents “alternatively the first and second respondents be declared null and void”.
In the event PC Khetheng is produced to the court dead, Mr Khetheng wants the Prime Minister to convene a commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death “and to make appropriate recommendations”.