Lesotho Times

Two in court for robbing nuns

MASERU — Two men appeared in the Maseru Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to answer charges of robbing two Catholic nuns of their car at Ha Makhalanyane along the road to Roma last year.
Taole Koma and Bafokeng Tlhapi, from Mothae village, are accused of robbing the nuns of their Toyota Hillux truck while they were parked besides the road to have lunch.
The two alledly threatened to stab the nuns with a knife unless they surrendered their vehicle to them.
The nuns complied.
Koma and Tlhapi have however denied the charge pleading not guilty when they appeared before Maseru magistrate ‘Makampong Mokhoro on Tuesday.
The robbery happened on August 16 last year.
A witness, Bafokeng Ratheba, 18, told the court that he was herding his cattle on the day when he saw the accused seize the vehicle from the nuns.
Ratheba said he already personally knew both accused. He said he and other herd boys saw the two men approach the vehicle and open the doors.
“Accused one, Taole Koma, emerged from the front and opened the driver’s door while Bafokeng Tlhapi got in through the other door,” said Ratheba under cross-examination by Advocate Molefi Masoabi who is representing Koma.
Tlhapi is conducting his own defence after the court was told that his lawyer had withdrawn his instructions.
The witness told the court that he had just taken his herd of cattle from drinking water when the incident happened.
When Advocate Masoabi asked Ratheba how Taole was dressed on that day, Ratheba said he could not remember.
He could also not recall whether he had dreadlocks or not.
“But I saw him,” Ratheba insisted.   “Accused one entered into the driver’s seat and accused two entered through the other side of the car.”
The witness told the court that the accused pushed out the nuns who were in veil out from their car and drove towards Maseru.
Ratheba said he did not come close to the women, adding that he did not report to the police or the chief because he was afraid.
When the defence counsel put it to him that he did not report the incident because he did not know who took the car, he insisted it was Koma and Tlhapi.
Asked why he did not tell the sisters that it was the accused who took their car, Ratheba said he could not reach them immediately as they were quickly given a lift by another motorist.
The case was postponed to September 14. Tsietsi Hlaele is prosecuting.

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