Policeman up for graft

MASERU — A Maseru police constable appeared in court on Monday to answer charges of corruption.

Constable Mokhitlinyane Mokiti, 47, is alleged to have solicited a M1 000 bribe from Lebajoa Qalabatsane last Friday.

The crown alleges that Mokiti solicited the bribe to drop car theft charges against Qalabatsane.

Mokiti was granted M500 bail and was remanded out of custody to September 27.

The police constable is being charged with contravening section 22 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offence Act No.5 of 1999.

The prosecution alleges that on September 10, at Excel Garage, in Maseru, Mokiti “unlawfully committed the offence of corruption by accepting, or agreeing or offer to accept for himself M1 000 from Lebajoa Qalabatsane”.

According to the indictment, the M1 000 was “an inducement or reward” to drop the car theft charges against Lebajoa.

Mokiti is also facing an alternative charge of bribery in that he “unlawfully and intentionally accepted M1 000 from Qalabatsane to drop “charges against Lebajoa Qalabatsane”.

After the charges were read, Mokiti said he wanted to engage a lawyer to represent him.

He also told the court that he was a sickly person who was diabetic and needed “a special diet and treatment”.

Mokiti also pleaded to be given an opportunity to lead a normal life till the trial of the case.

He told the court that he was a public officer and was of a fixed abode at his home in Ha-Abia in Maseru.

Prosecutor Gcinimuzi Tshabalala said he had no fears that the accused could abscond.

“They (investigating officers) admit that the accused is still a public officer.

“But they feel that the charge is too serious,” the prosecutor said. 

He said the matter should be treated with the seriousness that it deserved.

Mokiti was granted bail on condition that he provided surety in the form of title deeds to his residential property in Ha Abia.

He was also ordered not to interfere with police investigations and to attend all remand hearings.

The case was before magistrate ‘Makampong Mokhoro.

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