Top cop faces sedition charges

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Senior Superintendent Khoabane Mpepe
Senior Superintendent Khoabane Mpepe

’Marafaele Mohloboli

EXILED Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Senior Superintendent Khoabane Mpepe faces sedition charges for allegedly conspiring to topple Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa.

Sen Supt Mpepe, who is the LMPS’s head of planning at the Police Headquarters in Maseru, fled the country on Wednesday last week for South Africa claiming his life was in danger after the police allegedly stormed his residence in Butha-Buthe the night before.

Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner, Sen Supt Motlatsi Mapola, yesterday told the Lesotho Times Sen Supt Mpepe faced sedition charges.

“Indeed Ntate Mpepe has a case to answer after he allegedly contravened Section 76 (5) (a) and (e) of the penal Code Act 2010,” said Sen Supt Mapola.

“A case has been opened and investigations are ongoing. It was decided that Ntate Mpepe should answer for the suspected sedition.”

Section 76 (5) (a) of the penal Code Act 2010 defines a seditious intention as an intention “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of His Majesty or the Government of Lesotho as by law established”.

Section 76 (5) (e) outlines a seditious intention as “an intention to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of Lesotho”.

Sen Supt Mapola denied allegations Sen Supt Mpepe’s case was politically-motivated.

“I heard on various media forums, including social media, that Ntate Mpepe’s case was politically-motivated. That is far from the truth.”

The Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner also scoffed at allegations he had been promised a promotion should he apprehend Sen Supt Mpepe.

“I don’t deliver services on the basis of promises. I deliver as mandated by the people and I shall accept any promotion coming my way because I deserve it as stated by Section 24 (1) (a) (b) and (c) of the Police Act that says a police officer shall be promoted on the basis of their performance,” said Sen Supt Mapola.

“A police officer should not be made any promises for preserving peace and maintaining law and order. Should I be promoted, I will accept it as a deserved elevation for my hard work and 29 years of service.”

For his part, Sen Supt Mpepe yesterday told this paper from his hideout he was instructed to stop talking to the media by “some security agencies” in the neighbouring country who are dealing with the matter.

“I have just come from a meeting with some security agencies here and directed not to conduct any interviews,” he said.

“We have agreed not to talk to the media about this issue until it has been dealt with.”

However, Sen Supt Mpepe told the Lesotho Times in a previous interview it all started after he held a lengthy and “tense” meeting with senior LMPS officers on Tuesday last week in which he was allegedly accused of insubordination and attempted mutiny.

He said the meeting was convened by Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) Masupha Masupha and attended by DCPs Keketso Monaheng and Jankie Hlaahla.

Sen Supt Mpepe said DCP Masupha explained that the meeting was convened because DCP Monaheng had reported that the senior superintendent had insinuated that he would topple Commissioner Letsoepa.

Sen Supt Mpepe added he was also accused of conspiring with other senior police officers and “some” politicians to topple Commissioner Letsoepa.

In fact, Sen Supt Mpepe said he was told by DCP Masupha that he was the “number one suspect” in the alleged conspiracy.

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