Lawyer says evidence against Maesiah’s bail application is just hearsay

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Itumeleng Koleile

Maesiah Thabane, Lesotho’s murder accused former first lady’s lawyer Advocate Salemane Phafane has pleaded with the High Court’s justice Thamsanqa Nomncongo to disregard an array of affidavits opposing the accused bail application as hearsay without tangible evidence.

Phafane told the court yesterday that Maesiah, in possession of her diplomatic passport, had on many occasions opportunity to flee after being granted the now overturned bail but never fled the country and that goes to show she is not a flight risk and must be granted bail.

Maesiah is facing a charge of murder and attempted murder of her husband’s second wife Lipolelo Thabane and friend Thato Sibolla respectively. Sibolla escaped death by a whisker when famo gangsters hired to erase Lipolelo gunned them in the outskirts of Maseru in Ha Masana.

Following the killing of Lipolelo on the eve of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s inauguration, Maesiah a few months later landed herself the title of the first lady when she married the Prime Minister in a spectacle wedding. See also: Mojakhomo Speaks against Maesiah Bail application.

Now, Phafane is pleading with the court that Maesiah be granted bail on grounds that evidence contained in an array of affidavits presented to the court be dismissed as hearsay.

Phafane said although the Court of Appeal had set aside the bail had been granted to the petitioner by Acting Chief Justice Maseforo Mahase as irregular, Maesiah had abided and decided to file for yet another application.

Phafane told the court the petitioner must be granted bail because she had already abided by all the conditions of her previous bail, adding she had more chances than one to have fled, and yet she did not.

He pointed that affidavits deposed to by respondents against Maesiah being granted bail presented as evidence by alleged witnesses are only hearsay.

Phafane said Sarele Sello, one of the crown witnesses in the murder case against Maesiah, revealed evidence that only paints him as a self-confessed accomplice, and a famo gang killer.

Additionally, Phafane said it is bizarre in extreme that the witnesses contesting Maesiah’s bail application claim in their hearsay statements that the accused had made death threats against them although none reported the matter to police.

Witnesses cited in the court papers are Prime Minister Thabane’s daughter  Adv. Mabatsoeneng Hlaele nee Nkoya Thabane, Sibolla, Sarele Sello, and ‘Makarabo Mojakhomo.

When she was first called in for questioning on the murder of Lipolelo, Maesiah feared for her life as there was bad blood between the then prime minister and the commissioner of police Holomo Molibeli, hence her request to be met at the neutral place, Phafane said.

He said she however stepped aside and decided she would not report to police.

He said she fled in fear of her life following the withdrawal of security from the statehouse while the police also approached the court to obtain a warrant for her arrest.

Phafane said Maesiah then came back three weeks later and handed herself over to the police.

This, he said Maesiah did while still in possession of a diplomatic passport, which she could have used to flee.

According to Phafane, there is no genuine reason to keep the petitioner in custody bearing in mind that even the affidavits have been leaked to the social media a day before being presented to the court.

The hearing is before Judge Thamsanqa Nomncongo while the respondents are represented by attorney Monaheng Rasekoai and the case continues before court tomorrow.

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