news

Sept. 27, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

3 min read

Metsing, Mochoboroane case drawing to a close

Metsing, Mochoboroane case drawing to a close

LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing and his MEC counterpart, Selibe Mochoboroane

Story highlights

  • Defence accuses DPP of abusing court process
  • Crown did not apply for bench warrant for applicants to appear in court

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MOTHETJOA Metsing and Selibe Mochoboroane, the two political leaders who are challenging the manner in which Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed their indictment and exercised her powers will soon know their fate when the matter ends.

Metsing is leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and also the former Deputy Prime Minister.

Mochoboroane is the leader of the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and the incumbent Minister of Development Planning

On Monday, the lawyers representing both parties completed their arguments before Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane who is yet to make a ruling on the matter on a date to be confirmed.

Chief Sakoane has taken over the matter after Dr Onkemetse Tshosa who previously heard the case resigned.  
The applicants’ lawyer, King’s Counsel Motiea Teele told the High Court that it is irregular to use Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence (CP&E) Act as machinery for joinder.

If joined, Metsing and Mochoboroane will become co-accused to some members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) who are among others accused of killing Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) during an incident that occurred at the police headquarters on August 30, 2014.

The accused soldiers who include former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Lance Corporals Motloheloa Ntsane and Leutsoa Motsieloa also face treason and attempted murder charges.

In his submission on Monday, KC Teele argued that the DPP is using the Section 144 of the CP&E Act to circumvent Section 140 of the same Act, adding that this is misconstruction of powers and abuse of court process.
The DPP, he further showed cannot include his clients in an existing indictment, saying she should at least indict and try them separately.
On behalf of the Crown, Adv Christopher Lephuthing said the prosecution applied for substitution of the indictment and the application was granted.

He said the Crown however, did not apply for bench warrant in order for the applicants to appear in court.

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He submitted that the current application is mute as the substitution order had been granted, therefore it should be dismissed.
The applicants are in the application seeking review and setting aside of the procedure to summarily indict them. They are asking for the procedure to be declared wrong.
They are trying to invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act as well as challenging the administrative action of the DPP. They are further attacking the ability of the DPP to try them and institute a summary trial. They are questioning the manner in which the indictment was filed and how the DPP exercised her powers.
They have been trying to secure immunity from prosecution, but all their attempts have been unsuccessful. LeNA

 

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