Lesotho’s Deputy Police Commissioner gets bail

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Itumeleng Koleile

The deputy commissioner of police, Paseka Mokete (47) was granted bail following a sexual assault and other charges.

In a case that was before Magistrate Senekane Qobolo, Mokete was granted free bail on grounds that not only is he a member of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) but also that he is the second in command.

Mokete leads the criminal investigative division of the LMPS and has been at the center of an investigation that linked former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and former first lady Maesiah Thabane into the killing of his wife Lipolelo Thabane on the eve of his June 2017 inauguration.

Upon being granted bail, his bail conditions include attending remands and not interfering with crown witnesses.

Mokete is charged with contravening with Section 3 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 in that he allegedly sexually assaulted Inspector ‘Makatleho Mphetho on April 29.

Mokete is said to have sexually assaulted Mphetho near the National Assembly of Lesotho premises where he did unlawfully commit an unlawful sexual act by touching her buttocks without her consent.

Mokete is alternatively charged with the crime of assault in contravention of section 30 read with section 109 of the penal code Act of 2010.

The accused is said to have unlawfully and intentionally assaulted Mphetho by unlawfully applying force to her by putting and dragging her on the ground.

Mokete is also charged with the crime of malicious damage to property in contravention of section 72 read with section 109 of the penal code Act of 2010.

The accused is said to have unlawfully and without lawful excuse and acting with intention damaged the property of Mphetho by tearing a part of her trousers.

Magistrate Qobolo said the complainant is in a position to object bail if she wishes as the law provides, however, the complainant (Inspector Mphetho) did not object to the defendant being granted bail.

In pleading for bail, advocate Ndebele on behalf of the defendant said the defendant is the deputy commissioner of police of the LMPS, he is a resident of Matsieng and a family man thus he has no reason to flee.

Ndebele emphasized that Mokete is more than prepared to have his day in court and answer in his defense.

The prosecution was represented by advocate Pontšo Janki who said investigations pertaining to the matter were completed.

Mokete was represented by advocate ‘Mabatšoeneng Hlaele assisted by Ndebele and advocate Monaheng Rasekoai.

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