Slain officer’s family demands explanation

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Pascalinah Kabi

THE family of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko wants former premier Pakalitha Mosisili and senior security sector officials to explain the circumstances surrounding his fatal shooting on 30 August 2014.

Sub-Inspector Ramahloko was killed during a predawn Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) raid on three Maseru police stations which the military claimed was meant to foil an LMPS plan to arm civilians.

The LDF had accused the LMPS of planning to give civilians firearms for use during a Lesotho Congress for Democracy street protest that was scheduled for 1 September 2014.

However, the LMPS has vehemently denied the allegation, with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who fled the country ahead of the raid, describing the LDF’s special operation as an attempted coup.

No arrests have been made in connection with the raid.

In a press conference held earlier this week, the Ramahloko family said they were yet to be furnished with a satisfactory explanation on the circumstances surrounding the killing of their relative.

The press briefing was also meant to announce the holding of a memorial event to commemorate the three-year anniversary since Sub-Inspector Ramahloko’s death that is scheduled for Saturday.

Starting at 9am, the event will be held at Police Headquarters and end with a procession to Sub-Insp Ramahloko’s Qoaling home.

Sub-Inspector Ramahloko’s brother, Mosito Ramahloko, told the assembled journalists that they had invited Dr Mosisili, former deputy premier Mothetjoa Metsing, Director of Public Prosecutions Leaba Thetsane, Attorney-General Tšokolo Makhethe, former LDF commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, LDF spokesperson Brigadier Ntlele Ntoi, Director of Military Intelligence Colonel Tumo Lekhooa, Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa, Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Keketso Monaheng, Deputy Commissioner of Police Motlatsi Mapola and Superintendent Clifford Molefe to the event.

Mr Ramahloko said the 11 had been invited both in their personal and official capacities.

The Dr Mosisili-led seven-party coalition served from 17 March 2015 until the 3 June 2017 National Assembly elections that resulted in a Dr Thabane-led alliance cobbling together enough seats to form government.

Mr Ramahloko accused the Dr Mosisili-led previous government of failing to ensure justice was served in the killing of Sub-Inspector Ramahloko and beating up of some of his colleagues during the LDF raid.

He said that allegations by the LDF that the LMPS intended to arm civilians to attack LCD supporters should have been tested in court

“By now, the LDF should have taken legal action against suspects within the police service who had planned to give guns to civilians,” said Mr Ramahloko.

“They had an ample time to prosecute these suspects in the courts of law but, to date, nothing has been done.

“We are therefore inviting Mosisili, Metsing, Kamoli, Ntoi, Letsoepa, Monaheng, Mapola, Molefe, Leaba Thetsane, Tšokolo Makhethe and Lekhooa to explain how far they were with the protection of the constitution.”

He added: “As things stand, the family suspects that there was never a plot to arm civilians, the army’s explanation was a lie and if it isn’t, they need to come on Saturday and give us evidence that indeed there was a mission by LMPS officers to give guns to civilians.”

Lesotho Police Staff Association Secretary-General, Inspector Morai Motluli chipped in by calling for the arrest and prosecution of the people who killed Sub-Inspector Ramahloko.

“Our stand-point was and is still very simple; we want to know where the suspects are? If there are no suspects, the guns that were confiscated should be returned unconditionally,” he said.

For her part, Sub-Inspector Ramahloko’s widow ‘Mamonaheng Ramahloko said she was still coming to terms with the death of her husband and bread winner.

“It is not easy at all to lose a husband and it gets worse when you wake up every morning knowing that the person who brought food on the table was mercilessly killed,” Ms Ramahloko said, adding that she was fortunate to have a supportive family and friends.

“Our child no longer wants to be a police officer because he fears that he will be killed just like his father.”

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