Maseru,Aug.01 —Prosecution lawyer in a case in which some army members are charged with murder of a Qacha’s nek woman, Advocate Thulo Hoeane has on Tuesday told the court that if state witnesses are not available by November 20 2023, they will have no option but withdraw the charges against the accused in the matter.
He stated that they have been trying to secure the witnesses, some of whom are in South Africa but without success. He indicated that the witnesses are key to the case as only one witness who is an investigating officer of the case has been led.
Adv. Hoeane told the court that information from the investigating officer in the matter is that the witnesses keep coming in and out of the country from South Africa. He said there is hope that if subpoenas are issued between now and November 20 this year, they will be able to reach them and they will come to court. He said out of the six witnesses, if they could at least secure half of them, the matter can proceed.
He remarked that the matter was previously postponed as the witnesses were not available adding that the court cannot keep convening and the witnesses are not there.
Meanwhile the court ordered that one of the accused who was not before court, Corporal Motsieloa shows up in court when the matter proceeds if there is no proof of his illness.
This was after the court was informed that the accused has a medical condition which prohibits him from coming to court. It was further informed that he is an outpatient and there is need for a court order to obtain proof from the hospital in which he is being treated.
No. 9625 Corporal Motsieloa , No. 69754 Private Koloti , No. 69784 Private Moeti are charged with contravening the provisions of section 40 (1) read with section 26 (1) and 40 (2) of the Penal Code Act no. 6 of 2012.
It is alleged that sharing a common intention and or purpose they unlawfully and intentionally caused the death of ‘Mamoleboheng Basele by beating her with a spade and whips during an incident that happened at Ha Molomo, Qacha’s Nek on February 28, 2016.
The accused have pleaded not guilty to the charge and are still out on bail as it was extended after their plea.
They were initially charged together with No. 75354 Private Choacho who has since had the charge against him dropped. The charge was withdrawn after the prosecution could not provide evidence linking him to the offence.
The case was before Justice Mafelile Ralebese and it was postponed to November 20 2023.