Moramotse’s murder-accused son still at large

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Mohalenyane Phakela

FORMER Police and Public Safety Minister Lehlohonolo Moramotse’s murder-accused son, Thabo Moramotse, is still at large more than a month after the High Court issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the murder of his sister-in-law.

His trial was supposed to have started on Monday but it could not proceed due to his absence. This prompted Zimbabwean Judge Charles Hungwe to postpone the trial to 16 to 30 March 2021 in the hope that he would have been located and arrested by then.

Thabo stands accused of the June 2016 murder of his sister-in-law, Martha Kota-Moramotse.

The slain Martha was wife to Thabo’s younger brother, Nduma.

Thabo and Nduma are both sons of Lehlohonolo Moramotse, the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s legislator for the Lithoteng constituency. Lehlohonolo served as Police and Public Safety minister in the previous Thomas Thabane-led administration which collapsed in May this year and was replaced by the current Moeketsi Majoro-led government.

He is a state witness along with Nduma in the murder case of his daughter-in-law who was shot dead as she drove into the family’s Lower Seoli residence in June 2016.

Although Martha was murdered in 2016, Thabo was only arrested in August 2020.

He appeared before Justice Hungwe on 18 August 2020 and he was granted bail.  His co-accused Pako Sekhonyana was also granted bail while the other suspect Tekane Tekane remained in custody because he is accused of other unspecified crimes. Thabo last appeared in court for his routine remand on 14 September 2020.

The murder trial was initially supposed to start on 21 September 2020 but it could not proceed due to the absence of Thabo.

On that day, Justice Hungwe issued a warrant of arrest for Thabo and postponed the trial to Monday 19 October 2020.

Again, on Monday, Thabo did not turn up in court. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, told the court that “the search for Thabo continues as he is still at large”.

Justice Hungwe then set 16 to 30 March 2021 as the new trial dates.

 

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