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Maseru
July 19, 2024
LAW & CRIMEMaseru

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER IDENTIFIES YET ANOTHER OFFICER ON FOOTAGE

Maseru, June. 20 — The Officer Commanding Maseru Central Correctional Institution (MCCI), Assistant Commissioner Tsoto Manaka was able to identify yet another officer on footage during assault and torture of inmates.

He said the cursor on the footage points to one officer he called by name. This he explained when taking stand in identifying officers who assaulted and tortured inmates following December 2023 events that saw inmates escape at the correctional facility, death of another as well as injury to some.

He took a firm stand before the Commission of inquiry today, Thursday stating Lesotho is a signatory to international instruments against ill-treatment of inmates, noting though some officers still practice this culture it is unacceptable.

“As MCCI officers, it is our duty to protect the rights of inmates not the other way round,” he stressed.

Therefore, upon watching the footage, the Assistant Commissioner mentioned by name the officer the cursor pointed to, whom he said he saw beating the inmates and later inserted the baton on his waist when coming out of the prison doorway.

However, the officer who was identified cross examined the Assistant Commissioner putting it to him that it is impossible for the senior boss to have managed to see him while there were many officers within the footage. “You are just implicating me because you saw me inserting my baton on my waist,” he added.

In another story, when defending his client who again was implicated particularly in relation to the death of Bokang Tsoako – inmate, Advocate Mahlomola Manyokole stated that he has learnt of poking of Recruits at LCS by Senior Officers, a matter he noted seems to be a culture at LCS.

“My client did not use excessive force in beating the inmate, he was just moderate and such could not have caused death.  “Even Doctor’s report showed the deceased died of internal bleeding amongst others,” he said.

This Commission chaired by Justice Realeboha Mathaba aims to investigate circumstances leading to escape and torture of the said inmates, as well as present recommendations on the working environment at LCS following Ombudsman Advocate Tlotliso Polaki’s issuance of report. 

Ends 

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