Mokete sexual assault judgement date set
Moorosi Tsiane/ Mohalenyane Phakela
JUDGEMENT in Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Paseka Mokete’s application for discharge in his sexual assault trial will be delivered on 12 May 2022.
Last month, DCP Mokete applied to be acquitted of the charges of sexually assaulting a subordinate, saying the Crown had failed to prove that he committed any crime. However, the prosecution had opposed the application, arguing that the senior cop has a case to answer. Therefore, he should take the stand to defend himself instead of seeking acquittal before his side of the story is heard, prosecutor Motene Rafoneke had argued.
Over the weekend, Maseru Senior Resident Magistrate, Peter Murenzi, said he would deliver judgement on DCP Mokete’s application on 12 May 2022. Before then, the Crown should file its response to the supplementary heads of arguments filed on DCP Mokete’s behalf by his lawyer, Attorney Monaheng Rasekoai, on 20 April 2022.
DCP Mokete stands accused of sexually assaulting his junior, Inspector ‘Makatleho Mphetho, on 30 April 2020. On the said date, Inspector Mphetho was on duty at parliament. It is alleged that DCP Mokete forcibly touched her buttocks, broke her trouser buttons and manhandled her.
Inspector Mphetho is the deputy secretary general of LEPOSA, the militant police union which has been at war with DCP Mokete, Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli, and the rest of the police command over the past three years. LEPOSA accuses the police management of incompetence and cronyism. In turn, the police command accuses LEPOSA of insubordination.
Mr Rasekoai argues in the discharge application that no state witness had provided any compelling evidence warranting DCP Mokete to be put to his defence.
But the Crown insists DCP Mokete must take the stand and defend himself.
The torn pair of trousers worn by Inspector Mphetho on the day of the alleged abuse — presented as evidence in court — proved that a crime had indeed been committed, said Adv Rafoneke, among other arguments on why DCP Mokete must take the stand.
“The accused must justify that he did not damage the trousers and until we hear his evidence, the court must believe he committed those crimes. We pray that this application (for discharge) be dismissed,” Adv Rafoneke said when opposing the discharge application last month.
However, Mr Rasekoai argued there was no basis for the charges, and they were being used to humiliate DCP Mokete because of differences between Inspector Mphetho’s LEPOSA and the police command.
“Can we safely conclude that Mr Mokete is an evil, violent, sexual predator who would stop at nothing, leave his office and go straight to the National Assembly premises, to target the buttocks of the complainant?
“My humble submission is that this evidence is inadequate to sustain a case to answer. There is absolutely no case to answer,” Mr Rasekoai argued.