Famo pair appeal conviction, freed

MASERU — Two men who

The two, Puseletso Motsoaole, 28, and Thabiso Roeli, 26, from Thabana-Morena in Mafeteng were released on Monday last week after their lawyer convinced the magistrate’s court that his clients’ appeal had “good prospects of success”.

Motsoaole and Roeli were each ordered to pay M5 000 bail deposit and secure surety from a citizen of Lesotho who has property in the country.

The two appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court two weeks ago and were charged with conspiring with prominent famo artist, Bereng Majoro, also known as Lekase, to kill the famo artists and radio presenters.

Motsoaole and Roeli, who pleaded guilty to the charge, told the court that Majoro had sent them to kill Lebajoa Lephats’oe, also called Selomo, and Sarele Sello who is known as Lehlanya.

They were also supposed to assassinate a Catholic Radio music presenter, Vincent Nthoba, and Thabang Moliko from People’s Choice FM radio station.

The men told the court that they had approached Majoro and expressed their desire to join his band.

They were however told to kill the four as part of their initiation ritual.

The two were arrested on May 28 near Sea Point in Maseru before they could carry out their deadly mission.

They were each sentenced to four years in prison for conspiracy to murder.

They were also sentenced to an additional one year in prison each for illegal possession of firearms.

Majoro is still at large.

The duo’s lawyer, Salemane Phafane, said the court should grant them bail as they could not abscond because they were citizens of Lesotho.

Phafane also argued in court papers that the magistrate had erred in “trying the case of an alleged conspiracy to commit murder, a charge that falls outside the jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court”.

“The honourable magistrate erred in accepting the plea of guilty to a charge of conspiracy,” Phafane said in the court papers.

“In law he should have entered a plea of not guilty irrespective of how the appellants pleaded due to the nature of the offence charged,” he said.

Phafane also challenged the conviction of the two men saying it was “in the absence of sufficient cogent evidence that the appellants had in fact committed the offence charged particularly the offence of conspiracy”.

He also argued that the five-year jail sentence which was imposed without an option of a fine was “harsh and shocking.”

He said the magistrate failed to take into account the personal circumstances and factors of the appellants in his consideration of sentence.

The date for their appeal hearing is still to be set.

two weeks ago were jailed for five years for conspiring to kill two famo musicians, two radio presenters and another person have been released on bail.

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