- spy agency begs for forgiveness,
- says it is “remorseful” over the spate of crimes by its officers
’Marafaele Mohloboli/ Tokelo Khausela
AN intelligence officer stands accused of sodomising a 16-year-old boy and raping a 14-year-old girl.
The two crimes, which were allegedly committed on 1 May and 10 May 2022 respectively, have left the National Security Service (NSS) shell-shocked. They are merely the latest in the ever-escalating incidences of crimes committed by members of the NSS and other security agencies. The spy agency has since pleaded with the public to “forgive” it for the spate of crimes by its officers.
The accused intelligence operative, Khethollo Lekoane (52), hails from Levy’s Nek, Butha-Buthe. He is said to have resigned in the wake of the damaging alleged crimes which have got him arrested. He is said to boast over 30 years’ experience in the NSS.
He appeared last week before the Leribe Magistrates’ Court situated at the newly opened Tšifa-li-Mali Court complex. He was released on M2500 bail and he is expected to re-appear in the same court on 1 June 2022.
Ironically, Lekoane is said to be a pastor at one of the local churches.
In a case of a Good Samaritan gone rogue, he is alleged to have sodomised the boy on 1 May 2022, on the very night Lekoane had hired him as a shepherd to look after his livestock.
According to police reports, the boy had been accompanied to his would-be molester by his grandmother who is a congregant at Lekoane’s apostolic church.
A day after the boy was sodomised, he is said to have packed his bags and left. On his way home, he was met by a Good Samaritan who noticed something strange about the manner of his walk. The boy is said to have recounted his ordeal to the stranger who then took him to the police station where a report was made and a case opened against Lekoane.
“The case was investigated and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (Hlalefang Motinyane). While the police were still waiting for a directive on how to proceed, Lekoane is said to have raped a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint. The second offence was allegedly committed on 10 May 2022 in Butha-Buthe as well,” deputy police spokesperson, Inspector ‘Mareabetsoe Mofoka, said in an interview.
The two alleged crimes are the latest in the growing list of offences committed by members of the spy agency.
Two months ago, another NSS officer, Rethabile Tsietsi (40), allegedly shot and killed his stepson, Bokang Tsietsi.
Tsietsi was arrested but quickly granted bail, His case is pending before the courts.
Some family members and friends who spoke to this publication at the time said Tsietsi was given to violence and abusive behaviour particularly when he was intoxicated.
They said at one time Tsietsi’s gun was confiscated by the NSS only to be returned even though it was clear that his behaviour had not changed at all.
Faced with rising crimes by their officers, the NSS this week expressed regret and begged for forgiveness from the public.
In an interview, NSS spokesperson, Limpho Gugushe, said they were deeply “ashamed” of the conduct of their rogue officers.
“We sincerely apologise to the public. We remain the same old NSS that the nation has trusted over the years. We don’t condone the criminal acts of some of our officers that have dented our reputation.
“We are working around the clock to ensure that such acts do not happen again. We feel it’s only right to own up to the wrongs of our officers as they impact on our image. We are truly sorry,” Ms Gugushe said in an interview this week.
Members of other security agencies have also been accused of murders and other serious crimes.
Late last month, a Ha ‘Mapotsane, Mohale’s Hoek, woman was gunned down by her police officer husband.
The victim was 38-year-old Relebohile Tšolo.
Her killer cop husband, Lance Sergeant Letsie Posholi (44), was based at the police headquarters in Maseru. He served on the Interpol desk, tasked with facilitating worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
But Lance Sergeant Posholi’s standing as a police officer and Interpol point man in Lesotho for that matter, did not deter him from committing a gruesome crime against the woman who he swore to love and protect with his own life.
He was subsequently arrested and the matter is pending in the courts of law.
Besides this particular crime, the police are regularly in the news for acts of brutality against citizens which have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries over the years.