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Jail Molibeli, Lebajoa demands

by Lesotho Times


…as war between police bosses intensifies

Mohalenyane Phakela

POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli’s war with one of his deputies, Beleme Lebajoa, intensified yesterday with the latter petitioning the High Court to jail his boss.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Lebajoa wants the Commissioner jailed for 60 days for allegedly failing to adhere to a 1 June 2022 court order for him to dispatch a record of proceedings which culminated in his decision to transfer DCP Lebajoa from the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) to the police’s Finance and Infrastructure Development (FID) unit.

Judge Tšeliso Mokoko issued the order directing Commissioner Molibeli to dispatch the record of proceedings which informed his decision within two days.

The order was part of an interim judgement granted to DCP Lebajoa after he had petitioned the court to stop the police boss from effecting the transfer which would have seen fellow DCP, Paseka Mokete, go the other way. The court issued an interim order staying the transfer until the finalisation of the DCP Lebajoa’s application.

Commissioner Molibeli and Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa are the first and second respondents respectively in the application.

In his latest application filed yesterday, DCP Lebajoa alleges that Commissioner Molibeli had still not complied with the order for him to furnish him with the record of which informed his decision to transfer the DCP.

“It is material to disclose that the Rule Nisi (interim order) was extended on several occasions to allow the first respondent (Molibeli) to comply with the order but to date he has not dispatched the record of proceedings nor filed an application for the leave of court to file an additional affidavit to place on record that there is no record to be dispatched as directed and ordered by this court,” DCP Lebajoa states in his latest application.

“I aver that the first respondent has blatantly refused to comply with the order in that, despite the order, service and knowledge thereof, he has, for reasons best known to him, not dispatched the record of proceedings irrespective of several postponements to enable him to deliver the record to the registrar of this court.

“I verily aver that the first respondent’s conduct amounts to blatant contempt of court. He is rendering the order of this court meaningless, useless and is basically rendering my application insignificant.”

DCP Lebajoa therefore wants the High Court to order the “first respondent (Molibeli) to be kept in jail for a period of 60 days for contempt of court.

“The first respondent be ordered and directed to purge his contempt within a day upon receipt of the court order herein by dispatching the record as ordered and directed by this court on 1 June 2022.”

This is not the first time Commissioner Molibeli has been hauled before the courts for defying court orders.

Last month, Justice Mokoko spared Commissioner Molibeli jail time for failing to comply with an order to reinstate 12 recruits who had been dismissed from the Police Training College (PTC) in May 2022.

Justice Mokoko had on 29 June 2022 ruled that Commissioner Molibeli’s decision to expel the recruits was “irregular and wrongful and therefore, null and void”.

However, the 12 were denied entry into PTC on 1 July 2022. Their lawyer, Rethabile Setlojoane, rushed back to court to file a contempt of court application against Commissioner Molibeli. Justice Mokoko forgave Commissioner Molibeli who personally appeared before him on 7 July 2022 to apologise, citing logistical hiccups for the delay in reinstating the 12 recruits.

Incidentally, Adv Setlojoane is also representing DCP Lebajoa.

The DCP argues in yesterday’s application that Commissioner Molibeli is determined to undermine the courts by continuously refusing to obey their orders.

“He (Molibeli) is clearly determined to frustrate the execution of this court’s order. It is my contention that his conduct clearly has the effect of bringing the administration of justice in this country into total disrepute in the eyes of the right thinking members of the society as Justice Mokoko warned him a few weeks ago before this court in CIV/APN/0170/2022 (recruits’ case).”

DCP Lebajoa will move his contempt of court application today before a judge who will be allocated the matter.

In the main application, DCP Lebajoa accuses Commissioner Molibeli of usurping Police and Public Safety Minister Lepota Sekola’s powers to transfer him and ignoring the latter’s directive for him (Lebajoa) to remain as head of CID.

DCP Lebajoa accuses Commissioner Molibeli of having opposed his appointment as the head of CID from the onset. He alleges that the police boss went as far interfering with his (Lebajoa’s) duties and establishing a parallel desk to carry out the same tasks as the CID.

However, in his answering affidavit filed on 7 June 2022, Commissioner Molibeli argues that the Police Act empowers him to assign and transfer police officers under his command while the minister only has the power to appoint DCPs and not assign them duties.


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