The case of two Special Operations Unit (SOU) police officers who murdered the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC)’s Head of Internal Audit Thibello Nteso is about to take a new twist.
The lawyer of the two Police Constables Advocate Lebohang Ramakhula, told this publication that they are contemplating lodging an appeal following a judgement of guilty, where his clients were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by Judge Moroke Mokhesi.
Ramakhula mains that they have a case to prove before the Appeal Court as the Mokhesi judgement has some shortfalls.
“I can’t say much right now but I read the judgment and there are some things wrong in it. I didn’t get a chance to meet with my clients due to the lockdown but I will have to discuss the matter with them,” he said adding that he further has to seek counsel from other lawyers.
“I also have to seek the advice and opinions of other lawyers because there are senior lawyers who might see it in a different way. Sometimes you get carried away with emotions as a lawyer who is handling the case, so there is a lot of work to be done around it.
“So some points in the judgment are not clear according to the law,” he said.
The duo, Moeketsi Dlamini and Monaheng ‘Musi were found guilty for slaying Nteso in 2017 and were each slapped with a 20 years’ prison sentence by Justice Mokhesi last year December 5, 2020.
Nteso was cold-bloodedly gunned-down on a rainy night of February 6, 2017 near the former Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa’s Maseru West abode when they sprayed his maroon Mercedes Benz which was parked outside the residence with high density bullets.
The two police constables argued that they shot the deceased in self-defense; an aversion that could not stand the test of court. Mokhesi said the duo acted unprofessionally because they were fully armed to defend themselves against an attack
Mokhesi further pointed out in his judgment that the murderous act was uncalled-for as they are law enforcement officers and that the heartless act must have left a deep scar in his family.
“The circumstances of this case are disturbing and disheartening; the offence was committed by law enforcement officers in the circumstances which quite frankly were unwarranted.
“The deceased had parked his car next to their duty station without blocking entrance there. It was only the accused’s unwarranted sense of nervousness and a feeling of insecurity that led to the callous acts. It was unwarranted because they were fully armed and could have easily defended themselves against an attack, but they allowed themselves to act amateurishly,” he said.
“The deceased was not a threat to them; his only crime was ignoring the accused’s unlawful orders for him not to access his car. They were helped in the process by one of their colleagues in creating an aura of exchange of fire between themselves and the deceased.
“Their feeble attempts at creating an impression that they acted in self-defense is not borne out by evidence. The impact this callous murder must have had and continues to have on the deceased young family is immeasurable. It is not an insignificant thing to lose one’s parent at this young age and in circumstances of this case.
“A deep emotional scar this murder should have had on the deceased’s wife and children and his immediate family is bound to last for a considerable time.
“Moeketsi Dlamini I sentence you to imprisonment for period of 20 years without an option of the fine. Monaheng ‘Musi I sentence you to imprisonment for a period of 20 years without an option of the fine.