HIGH Court judge Justice Molefi Makara has issued an interim order stopping Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli from transferring the Lesotho Mounted Police Service Staff Association (LEPOSA)’s spokesperson Police Constable (PC) Motlatsi Mofokeng from Maseru to Berea district.
Justice Makara granted the interim order last week after PC Mofokeng filed an urgent application seeking the nullification of Commissioner Molibeli’s 31 July 2020 decision to transfer him to Berea with effect from 1 August 2020.
The 6 August 2020 order is valid until 3 September 2020 when PC Mofokeng’s application for a final order barring Commissioner Molibeli from transferring him shall be heard.
PC Mofokeng approached the court after the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS)’s human resource officer, Superintendent Marou wrote to him on 31 July 2020, informing him that he would be transferred to Berea with effect from the beginning of this month.
“We acknowledge receipt of your (PC Mofokeng’s) letter dated 15 July 2020,” Supt Marou stated in his letter to PC Mofokeng.
“You and I may agree that you were expected to provide reasons, if any, why you may not be transferred to Berea as contemplated.
“You failed to respond to the said letter, and instead you raised vague issues. In essence you denied yourself an opportunity to be heard. Thus, the transfer still stands and you are expected to report to your new duty station on 1 August 2020,” Supt Marou stated in the letter.
The letter to PC Mofokeng was written as Commissioner Molibeli intensified his war with what he terms the “rebellious” LEPOSA leadership.
For more than a year now, tensions have been simmering between Commissioner Molibeli and his subordinates.
LEPOSA accuses Commissioner Molibeli of bias and incompetence in handling police grievances. The police union alleges that since taking charge in August 2017, Commissioner Molibeli has unprocedurally promoted his close allies like Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Paseka Mokete and Assistant Police Commissioner (ACP) Beleme Lebajoa.
LEPOSA also accuses the police boss of failing to deal decisively with the thorny issue of police brutality and it has petitioned Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to fire him.
Apart from petitioning Dr Majoro to act against him, some LEPOSA members have also filed court applications against Commissioner Molibeli seeking the nullifications of the promotions he has made.
Even some members of the police command like ACP Sera Makharilele and ACP Motlatsi Mapola are not happy with Commissioner Molibeli’s leadership.
The latter has even asked the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane to prosecute Commissioner Molibeli and ACP Lebajoa for abuse of office after they allegedly protected former First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane from prosecution for allegedly assaulting a Maseru man at the state house in January 2019.
Commissioner Molibeli has not taken LEPOSA’s pursuit of him lying down.
Over the past three weeks, the police boss has written memos to police officers, warning of “rogue” police officers whom he said are “in open rebellion against the police command”.
Commissioner Molibeli has also initiated processes to fire LEPOSA secretary general Inspector Moraleli Motloli. He fired LEPOSA national treasurer Lance Sergeant ‘Mathebe Motseki on Monday.
Lance Sergeant Motseki was on 27 July 2020 slapped with a letter demanding she “show cause” why she should not be dismissed for her recent statements which allegedly tarnished the image of the police command.
Speaking earlier last month at the funeral of one Lance Corporal Thabang Molelekoa in Mafeteng, Lance Sergeant Motseki allegedly accused the police authorities of transferring some police officers as punishment for opening a case against ‘Maesaiah for allegedly assaulting a Maseru man in January 2019.
Lance Sergeant Motseki is also alleged to have accused the police command of failing to arrest DCP Mokete after a female junior police officer accused him of sexual assault in April 2020. The case is now before the courts.
On 30 July 2020, Commissioner Molibeli also asked Inspector Motloli to “show cause” why he should not be dismissed from the police force for petitioning Prime Minister Majoro to fire him (Molibeli).