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Police quiz Mokaloba

by Lesotho Times
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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE police have quizzed Brigadier Ramanka Mokaloba over a number of unresolved crimes the agency is investigating such as the 27 January 2014 simultaneous bombings of three Maseru residences and 30 August 2014 killing of Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko.

Brig Mokaloba was also interrogated over the 25 June 2015 killing of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao, by his erstwhile army colleagues.

Police spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli, yesterday told the Lesotho Times that Brig Mokaloba was summoned to law enforcement agency’s headquarters for interrogation last Friday and released the same day.

Insp Mopeli indicated that Brig Mokaloba could be summoned again since investigations into the crimes were ongoing.

“He (Brig Mokaloba) was released, but the police are continuing with investigations. There is a possibility that he could be called again should the need arise in the investigation, but as of now, he is a free man,” he said.

Brig Mokaloba’s interrogation comes in the wake of the charging of former LDF commander Lt-Gen Kamoli with one count of murder and 14 counts of attempted murder last month.

In the murder charge, Lt-Gen Kamoli is joined to three army officers set to stand trial for the killing of Sub-Inspector Ramahloko during the 30 August 2014 attempted coup against the first government of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Sub-inspector Ramahloko was killed during a predawn LDF raid on three Maseru police stations which the military claimed was meant to foil a Lesotho Mounted Police Service plan to arm civilians but widely dismissed as an attempt to topple a sitting government.

The raid was conducted soon after Dr Thabane had fired Lt-Gen Kamoli as LDF chief.

Lt-Gen Kamoli refused to go and retaliated by ordering the raid which plunged the country into a security crisis that prompted the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

He separately faces 14 counts of attempted murder over the 27 January 2014 simultaneous bombings of the Moshoeshoe II homes of First Lady Maesiah Thabane, ‘Mamoshoeshoe Moletsane and the Ha Abia residence of former police commissioner Khothatso Tšooana.

As part of investigations into the attacks, then police commissioner Tšooana had requested to interview eight LDF members, but Lt-Gen Kamoli refused to surrender the soldiers.

Brig Mokaloba testified during the SADC commission of inquiry into the killing of Lt-Gen Mahao.

Lt-Gen Mahao was shot dead by his former subordinates in Mokema, who claimed he had resisted arrest for suspected mutiny.

The Mahao family has since dismissed the claim, and instead accused the army of killing him in cold blood.

The inquiry, led by Botswana judge Mpaphi Phumaphi carried out its investigations between 31 August and 23 October 2015.

In his testimony, Brig Mokaloba stated that he never recognised Lt-Gen Mahao as army commander even though he had been fired by Dr Thabane in August 2014.

Brig Mokaloba had asserted that Lt-Gen Kamoli was the only LDF commander he knew and he would continue supporting him.

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