THE 12 recruits, some believed to be members of a notorious criminal gang, Manomoro, who had challenged their dismissal from the Police Training College (PTC) by Commissioner Holomo Molibeli will no longer serve alongside the country’s men in blue.
Nov. 23, 2022
3 min read
‘Manomoro’ will not form part of LMPS
Police Commissioner, Holomo Molibeli
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This, after the Appeal Court, ruled that Molibeli’s decision not to reinstate the 12 made perfect business sense as it is undeniable that some of the dismissed recruits were after all part of the gang in question.
Manomoro is a gang of young ex-convicts normally identifiable by their unique tattoos. The gang came into the spotlight when it terrorised residents of Maseru last year. Its members specialise in burglaries, robberies, theft, housebreaking, rape, and assaults.
The Appeal Court in its judgment decided that each party should bear its own costs of the lawsuit both in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The court said two things indisputable in the case are the police’s assertion that Manomoro is a criminal gang and that it has unique markings.
In July, High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Mokoko ordered Molibeli to reinstate the 12 recruits who were dismissed from PTC earlier in May.
Handing down the ruling, Justice Mokoko said Molibeli’s decision to expel the recruits was “irregular and wrongful”, adding that their recruitment should be done without any loss of status and benefits.
The 12 included Moliehi Dlamini, Mokhethi Damane, Lebaka Matiea, Kopano Ramokhoro, Ngaka Lenka, Mojela Gugushe, Thabang Maime, Lechesa Lepheane, Poloko Sekhohola, Refiloe Kheleli, Moorosi Kalane, and Sebongile Cekwane.
At the twist of events, Molibeli ignored the order and refused to reinstate the 12, resulting in the appeal.
In its ruling, the Appeal Court said it considered the fact that the LMPS failed to play ball when it came to the service of the interim order, adding that contributed to the manner in which the case unfolded.
The court further showed it considered the fact that some of the dismissed recruits had similar tattoos and that they enrolled at PTC at the same time.
The court said it was not established conclusively that Molibeli had personally seen the interim court order, though it was clear that the order had been brought to the attention of one of the police officers at PTC.
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The 12 recruits were kicked out of the police college in May as some were suspected members of Manomoro, one female was found to have been pregnant while others were declared unfit for training.
The recruits were served with dismissal letters on May 25, and Molibeli immediately replaced them with the same number of people who are believed to have been hand-picked along political party leanings.
After the High Court ordered the recruits to rejoin the recruitment programme, they returned to the training college hoping to have their jobs back but they were denied access back into the facility.
The officers they found at the PTC gates told them that they had not received any directive from Molibeli to allow them back onto the premises.