Nov. 17, 2022


2 min read

Suspected M4m FNB thieves accuse police of theft

Suspected M4m FNB thieves accuse police of theft

The FNB Lesotho head office in Maseru

Story highlights

    The accused says a witness failed twice to point him out in a police ID parade
    Alleged thieves claim assault by police while in custody

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THE two men accused of stealing the M4 million belonging to the First National Bank of Lesotho (FNB) over 14 years ago have taken a swing at police investigators, accusing them of stealing the same money they were supposed to recover.

Lehlohonolo ’Mote and the bank’s former employee, Lehlohonolo Tsikinyane have denied any wrongdoing in the long drawn-out case, saying the police who investigated the matter could shade a better light as to what really became of the stolen money.

The two also accused the police of assaulting them into confessing to the crime while in their custody.

The duo was initially charged with the same crime together with four others, including Lisema Ramokhoabane, Seemane Qhoai, Sekhonyana Ntlhabo, and his son Monaheng Ntlhabo.

Both Ramokhoabane and Qhoai have since passed on while the Ntlhabo’s have turned state witnesses.

This week, the High Court also heard how the witness who claims to have seen as the theft unfolded at the bank in 2008 failed to identify ’Mote twice in a police identification parade.

’Mote testified that he was never anywhere near the bank on the day the breaking-in allegedly occurred.

“The witness instead pointed at another man in both identification parades, instead of me. Even after we had swapped places in the parade with that man, the witness still pointed at him and not at me,” the court heard.

After the alleged theft, and the subsequent arrest of the accused, police held an identification parade at the Police Training College (PTC) in Maseru, hoping that the purported eye witness would be able to point out ’Mote.

But the evidence in court shows that the witness pointed out the same man but not the accused on both occasions.

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The marathon trial was on Tuesday postponed to November 24, when the prosecution will cross-examine Mote.

The court has received admissions of evidence after the prosecution led oral evidence.

The evidence from the prosecution was provided by various witnesses including police officers, especially the investigators of the long-drawn case, and FNB employees.  

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