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Mahao’s murder trial stalls again

SC Shaun Abrahams for the Crown

Jan. 14, 2020 2 min read

MASERU – The trial in which nine soldiers are accused of the murder of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao seems to fail to take traction as it suffered yet another postponement on Monday.

The matter was last week postponed to this week after one of the defence counsel, Advocate Napo Mafaesa, filed an application seeking the recusal of Justice Charles Hungwe from the case.

On Monday, the trial was rescheduled to Tuesday to give both parties ti to file papers in respect of the application.

Advocate Mafaesa represents Motsamai Fako, Motšoane Machae and Tšitso Ramoholi.

The other accused include former army boss Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Haleo Makara, Lekhooa Moepi, Marasi 'Moleli and Mohlalefi Seitlheko.

The defence team also comprises King’s Counsel Zwelakhe Mda and Attorney Qhalehang Letsika.

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The accused face multiple charges which include murder, attempted murder, theft, obstruction of justice, damage to property, aggravated assault and risk of injury or death.

All accused who were remanded in custody have since pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams who is a South African lawyer and the former National Director of Public prosecutions (NDPP) at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), prosecutes on behalf of the Crown.

Mahao was gunned down by fellow soldiers on June 25, 2015, on his way to Maseru from his home village of Mokema on the outskirts of the capital.

His alleged killers claim that their intentions were to arrest him.

They further claim that the former army chief, who was allegedly shot three times with an AK 47 assault rifle at point blank range, resisted arrest before they opened fire on him.




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