FORMER army commander, Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, and his co-accused will finally stand trial on 22 October 2019 for the murder of Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko at the Police Headquarters in Maseru during the attempted coup of 30 August 2014.
Lt-Gen Kamoli and his co-accused appeared before High Court judge Onkememtse Tshosa, from Botswana, yesterday who set the trail dates to 22 and 23 October 2019.
Lt-Gen Kamoli is charged alongside Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Lance Corporal Motloheloa Ntsane and Lance Corporal Leutsoa Motsieloa.
The quartet will be the first to stand trial from the 40 army and police officers who have been detained at the Maseru Maximum Prison since their arrest in 2017 for attempted murder and murder charges for crimes which they allegedly committed between 2012 and 2017.
The 40 soldiers and police officers have been languishing in prison since 2017, with their matters failing to kick-off for various reasons which include the delayed arrival of foreign judges appointed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to preside over the said high profile cases.
Only Lt-Gen Kamoli's lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati was present in court while the other three accused lacked legal representation. Nonetheless, that did not stop Justice Tshosa from setting the trial dates.
"The matter is set for trial on 22 and 23 October 2019 and in the meantime counsels from both sides will exchange necessary documents," Justice Tshosa said.
Major Pitso Ramoepane also appeared before the same judge in connection with the 5 September 2017 murder of former army commander, Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Just as Lt-Gen Kamoli's co-accused, Maj Ramoepane he told the court that he did not know his lawyer's whereabouts. His trial date was set for 24 October 2019.
Captain Nyakane appeared again thereafter, this time charged alongside Lance Corporal Khauhelo Makoae, Lance Corporal Sebilo Sebilo, Privates Tšepo Tlakeli and Thebe Tšepe for allegedly killing Thabang Mosole, Monyane Matsie and Pakiso Ntala Letatabe at Ha Motanyane in Mafeteng in 2012.
Their trial date was set for 25 October 2019.
Justice Tshosa ordered that the nine soldiers who said they did not know their lawyer's whereabouts to pronounce themselves by 9 October whether their lawyers were still going to represent them.
"By 9 October you should confirm whether your lawyers are still going to represent you or rather if you have appointed other lawyers to represent you. Failing which, you may approach the registrar for Pro Deo assistance if you qualify for such legal assistance," Justice Tshosa said.