The Maseru Magistrate’s Court has dismissed a series of cases including murder against 12 Lerotholi Polytechnic (Fokothi) students because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.
The 12 were charged among others with the murder of a fellow student, Rethabile Mositi who they allegedly drowned in the Mohokare River on July 21, 2018.
It is alleged the accused forced the deceased to drink several litres of river water in what is believed to be an ancient school custom that has left many other learners dead.
Two of the accused also faced a robbery case in which they allegedly robbed Frederick Kabamba Moshameso.
The two accused included Bataung Ranyali of Ha Seleso and Motlatsi Machabe of Lithoteng, Ha Seoli.
It is alleged that sometime in 2018, Ranyali and Machabe robbed Moshameso of his vehicle, a laptop computer, a cell phone, a navigator and two wallets containing cash amounting to M190 000.
But the case was later dismissed because Moshaneso could not be traced in order to come before court to testify.
Dismissing the matters, Magistrate Masupha Kao said they (the cases) were part of numerous others which have formed a serious backlog in the courts of law.
The other accused in the murder case included Motabola Pokane, 22, of Tsikoane, Leribe, Moeti Kopanye, 22, of Maputsoe, Leribe, Lebohang Borotho, 20, of Mahobong, Leribe, Ts’epo Mosakeng, 21, of Upper Thamae, Maseru, Temo Lithakong, 21, of Tajane, Mohale’s Hoek,
Tankiso Sephoko, 24, of Ha Ntsie, Kolo, Thabiso Ralitlemo, 20, of Mpharane, Mohale’s Hoek, Simisi Senekane, 20, of Pitseng, Leribe, Lehlohonolo Maseko, 24, of Ha Seetsa, Leribe and Lijo Lijo (23) of Tsime, Butha-Buthe.