Lesotho: Court to Set Mahao, Kheteng Murder Trial Dates

JUSTICE Charles Hungwe will tomorrow set the trial date for 10 soldiers accused of murdering former army commander Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao in 2015. He will also set the trial date for former Defence minister Tṧeliso Mokhosi and six police officers with whom he is accused of killing police constable Mokalekale Khetheng in 2016.

The Zimbabwean judge had initially wanted to set the trial dates on Monday but failed to do so after one of the defence lawyers, Advocate Zwelakhe Mda (KC), asked for a postponement to allow all lawyers representing the accused to be present. He then postponed the case to Thursday 27 September 2019.

In the Lt-Gen Mahao murder case, former army commander Tlali Kamoli is co-accused with Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Captain Haleo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Motsamai Fako, Corporal Marasi 'Moleli, Corporal Motšoane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Corporal Tšitso Ramoholi.

Former National Security Services (NSS) director and head of Military Intelligence, Tumo Lekhooa, is also among the accused. However, he has not attended any court session since he fled the country in 2017.

The 10 officers are accused of acting in common purpose to murder Lt-Gen Mahao on 25 June 2015 in Mokema.

They are also accused of attempting to kill Lt-Gen Mahao's nephews, Mahao Mahao and Mabilikoe Leuta, by shooting inside a vehicle in which they were passengers, as well as damaging Lt-Gen Mahao's vehicle after firing at it with automatic rifles.

Lt-Gen Kamoli is charged with the theft of Lt-Gen Mahao's 9mm pistol and Samsung Galaxy mobile phone.

Mr Mokhosi is accused, alongside former police commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa, of killing PC Khetheng on 26 March 2016.

The duo is charged alongside four other police officers; Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Superintendent Mothibeli Mofolo, Inspector Mabitle Matona and Police Constable Haleokoe Taasoane who are all currently held in custody at Maseru Maximum Prison. Mr Mokhosi is out on bail and Mr Letsoepa fled the country in 2017.

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