Blow for Metsing and Mochoboroane
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…as the duo’s court bid to evade treason, murder and attempted murder trial flops.
By Itumeleng Koleile
Former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Minister Selibe Mochoboroane will now face criminal charges alongside former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli as co-accused for their role in August 30, 2014, coup attempt.
On a date yet to be set, Botswana judge, Justice Onkemetse Tshosa will see both Metsing and Mochoboroane appear before him joined as accused persons on charges of treason, murder and attempted murder after months of trying to delay their appearance before a court of law citing need for judicial reforms.
This is after yesterday’s judgement delivered by Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane dealt a heavy blow to the duo’s attempt to slow down wheels of justice on their prosecution for their alleged role in coup attempt that left Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko dead at the Lesotho Mounted Police Service headquarters dead and several police stations raided by armed members of the Lesotho Defence Force on August 30, 2014.
Justice Sakoane ruled both Metsing—Lesotho Congress for Democracy leader—and—his erstwhile ally cum Movement for Economic Change leader—Mochoboroane application to resist their prosecution on charges of treason, murder and attempted murder be referred to the trial judge (Tshosa).
Sakoane said the referral of application back to the trial judge—Tshosa—is only appropriate and convenient for the duo to raise all their issues before him.
Metsing and Mochoboroane had filed applications seeking intervention not to be joined for the prosecution to former Lesotho Defence Force commander Kamoli, and other soldiers: Litekanyo Nyakane, Leutsoa Motsieloa and Motloheloa Ntsane.
The four soldiers have been remanded into custody since 2017 and are awaiting trial, however, as the case progressed, the Director of Public Prosecutions Hlalefang Motinyane decided to join Metsing and Mochoboroane to the accused.
The duo had filed an urgent application challenging Motinyane’s decision to join them in the pending trial before Justice Tshosa.
Their application followed a dismissal of the application of rescission in which the duo wanted intervention of a Constitutional Court where they wanted court to declare constitutional a clause 10 of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) brokered Memorandum of Understanding meant to delay their prosecution.
The MOU said the prosecutions of Metsing and other political placed persons would be postponed until the completion of the national reforms processes.
Metsing and Mochoboroane’s lawyer, Advocate Motiea Teele King’s Counsel, during arguments before court had said they had intended to apply for permanent stay of prosecution for the inordinate delay to charge them since 2014 and only acting when it is politically convenient for the authorities.
Although the constitutional court had dismissed the duo’s application of rescission on the MOU by SADC, they had filed a notice to appeal the judgement.
The crown council was represented by Advocate Christopher Lephuthing.