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May 23, 2024
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NEW HEARING DATE FOR MAHAO MURDER TRIAL

Maseru, Aug. 08 — A murder trial against some members of the army who are accused of killing Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao, has been scheduled to continue on September 21, 2023 by the High Court. 

The court has in this case granted an application for withdrawal to two lawyers Advocates Shaun Abrahams and Motene Rafoneke who were initially given a brief by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute the case. 

The applicants had in their applications for withdrawal cited a relationship breakdown between them and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who gave them the briefs to prosecute the case. They indicated that the relationship has broken down with no prospects of restoration.  

They stated that the DPP has been provided with the widest possible timeline to attend to legitimate concerns they raised which are relevant to the execution of their briefs as well as to retain the services of alternative lawyers to take over from them, but without any success.  

They insisted that they have taken the requisite measures to timeously provide notice to the DPP of their intention to withdraw as prosecution lawyers as early as May 21 2023.      

The same court has in the same case dismissed an application by the accused indicating that it lacks merit. 

The accused had in the application among others sought permanent removal of Advocates Abrahams and Rafoneke who withdrew from the case. They also sought that the court declare that repeated withdrawals by the two lawyers (Abrahams and Rafoneke) is an abuse of court process. 

They further sought that the Director of Public Prosecutions be directed to prosecute the case in person or through officers in her chambers in order to ensure that it proceeds to finality.  

At least nine army members including Former Army Commander Tlali Kamoli stand accused of the murder of Mahao and several other offences in the matter.            

It is alleged that the deceased in the matter was shot and killed on June 25 2015 at Ha Lekete in Mokema.           

The case is before Justice Charles Hungwe. 

Ends 

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