PROCEEDINGS in the trial against four police officers who are charged with the 2016 murder of their subordinate, Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng were on Thursday halted because two senior lawyers representing the accused were unable to come to court due to ill-health.
Aug. 12, 2021
3 min read
Khetheng murder trial halted again
Crown counsel, Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams
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The High Court received information that King’s Counsel Zwelakhe Mda and Karabo Mohau who were absent in court on Wednesday had gone for medical treatment, hence their absence in court on Thursday.
Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams who represents the Crown told the court that he was aware of KC Mda’s medical condition and that he had booked two days off the case.
Justice Charles Hungwe said he had hoped the trial would proceed smoothly this week, agreeing however, that the absence of the two senior defence lawyers was a good enough reason for the proceedings to be halted.
The case has since been postponed to September 6 – 10, with the hope that by then, the ill lawyers would be in good health or the court would be forced to appoint new lawyers for the accused.
Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Inspector Mothibeli Mofolo, Mabitle Matona are accused of Khetheng’s murder on March 26, 2016.
They also face additional charges of perjury and defeating ends of justice.
All four were stationed at the Hlotse Police Station in Leribe when Khetheng went missing after his arrest for allegedly torching a building in Hlotse.
Tšukulu was at the time the officer commanding the Leribe police while Mofolo headed the CID police who investigated the alleged arson.
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It is alleged that Khetheng who was based in Mokhotlong died at the hands of his Leribe colleagues. They arrested him on March 26, 2016 on arson charges. After his arrest, he was never seen alive again.
But the accused have denied any involvement in his death, saying he was never arrested. They further claim that Khetheng came to police station and later left of his own accord.
The third witness in the case, PC Tumelo Ntoane of the Leribe Police was in the middle of his testimony when the proceedings were temporarily stopped this week.
Two other witnesses who have already testified in the case were also based in Leribe at the time of Khetheng’s disappearance.