Police make breakthrough arrest

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Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola
Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola

’Marafaele Mohloboli

POLICE say they have made a breakthrough in a case in which the daughter-in-law of Lithoteng constituency MP Lehlohonolo Moramotse was fatally shot on 22 June 2016, with a suspect in custody.

Martha Kota-Moramotse (23) was shot dead as she drove into Mr Moramotse’s Ha Seoli residence at around 8pm. Following the murder, Mr Moramotse said he believed he was the target of the attack because his daughter-in-law was driving his car.

Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola, told the Lesotho Times yesterday they were looking for three more suspects in connection with the crime.

“We have arrested one suspect and looking for three more in connection with the crime. We are very happy for this breakthrough which we wouldn’t have made were it not for the public’s corporation,” he said.

Senior Sup Motlatsi Mapola said police were aware of the public’s concerns about the slow pace of investigations, adding collaboration was critical in nipping criminal acts in the bud.

“As long as we work hand in hand with the public, I believe we will eventually get there.”

Police have taken a lot of flak for the many unresolved murders and shootings in the country, with a recent example being the shooting of Lesotho Times and Sunday Express editor Lloyd Mutungamiri on 10 July 2016 at his home as he was returning from work. So far, no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Addressing mourners during Ms Kota-Moramotse’s funeral on 9 July, Thaba-Bosiu Principal Chief Senator Khoabane Theko expressed disappointment with the police’s investigations techniques.

“Our police are not delivering as expected and one begins to question their integrity as they have even failed to provide the aggrieved family with security to ensure their safety,” he said.

Commenting on the police breakthrough yesterday, Chief Theko said it was a positive development but a mere “drop in the ocean”.

“That is good news, but it is still not enough because that case is just a drop in the ocean. So many killings have happened and remain unresolved. We are happy for the Moramotse family and hope justice will be served,” he said.

“Of course, there remains a difference between arrest and conviction, and we are hopeful the culprits will be brought to book.”

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