Maseru, Apr.17 — A judge presiding over a case in which ten members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) are accused of killing three men and dumping their bodies into the Mohale Dam, Justice Moroke Mokhesi, has threatened to release the accused in the matter on bail.
This he said after the prosecution which was represented in person by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane sought a postponement of the case so that her office can deal with an issue of non-payment of prosecution lawyers in the matter who have subsequently filed an application to withdraw from the case.
The judge stated that he has previously warned the office of the DPP that the case cannot continue to be postponed because of the same issue. He added that he even suggested that in-house lawyers be used in the matter. He indicated that the matter should proceed on Monday next week without fail adding that the court will no longer allow further postponements in the matter.
He emphasised that if the prosecution comes with the same excuses when the matter is to proceed, he will be forced to release the accused on bail.
The issue of the postponement of the case came after two prosecution lawyers ceased with the matter Advocates Shaun Abrahams and Motene Rafoneke filed an application for withdrawal from the matter. They stated administrative and professional issues as the causes of their intention for withdrawal. Adv. Rafoneke who was before court stated that they are not willing to drop the application adding that they are ready to argue if the request for postponement by the DPP is not granted.
He informed the court that they have been engaging with the DPP regarding the issues which led to their application for withdrawal. He said they have been assured that there is progress on efforts to ensure that they are retained as prosecution lawyers in the matter.
The application for postponement by the prosecution was opposed by the defence which insisted that there should be a formal application and that the application for withdrawal which was scheduled to be moved today be proceeded with.
It is alleged that the accused in the matter strangled Lekhoele Noko, Khothatso Makibinyane and Molise Pakela in 2017 and dumped their bodies into the Mohale Dam.