Mpho Thaa Thaa
The wife to multi-murder suspect, Litekanyo Nyakane, Mampho Nyakane has charged that there plans to kills her husband who is currently apprehended at the Maseru Prison pending trial.
Nyakane is charged for among others the murder of former army boss Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao alongside Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.
“I am privy to information that there are plans to relocate my husband to Maximum Prison where the plan is to execute him under subterfuge that he was fighting,” the soldier’s wife said.
She made the revelation in her application seeking judicial protection.
“Whenever I visited my husband, the prison warden address either him or me in a belittling manner; in a way that provokes reaction but we never relent to the attitudes thrown to us by the officers,” she said.
Nyakane narrated that on the April 5, 2019 in the morning hours, she visited the Maseru Correctional Institution to see her husband and brought along food parcels but on arrival things had changed.
“I learned that I would not be allowed to see him anymore ‘for security reasons’ I was told.”
“I do visit him occasionally to bring him food and bathing items which are lacking in Maseru Correctional Institution,” she said however noting the developments later changed and she was granted opportunity to see her husband.
Nyakane said she was summoned to an office where she was informed that there are security concerns that are being addressed hence the decision to stop her access to see her husband.
“On the day I was only allowed to give my husband the food I had brought him, but was not allowed to say a word to him,” she said.
“I should say that I was rather puzzled by this because the other spouses of soldiers arrested alongside my husband were allowed to see and talk to their husbands on the day except me,” she said.
Nyakane further said the following day on April 6, 2019, she was told that she would not visit her husband until further notice for security reasons and this time even the other relatives to the co-accused with Litekanyo were denied access.
“We commissioned our legal representatives to seek clarity on the said ‘security reasons’ which were denying us access to our husbands. The response our legal teams received was that my husband and other soldiers “ba tella” (are disrespectful) and we will not be allowed see them or give them food until further notice,” she said in her affidavit.
Nyakane, has approached the High Court to seek protection of the law claiming torture.
In her application Nyakane’s wife noted that torture is a ritual of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service when investigating cases.
She filed her application last week after she received an order to report to the police last week Monday.
The call was done after her home was searched, and she reported that the search resulted in her minor child fainting due to the manner in which the police handled themselves.
Nyakane said on the evening of April 5, 2019 while she was at her house with her minor children, police officers and armed soldiers stormed into her house in a very theatrical manner and ruthlessly searched her house without a word.
She said after sometime, they angrily told her to hand over all the phone boxes in the house.
“I must explain that at that time my kids and I were shivering with fear. I could see my children bodies making psychogenic movements,” Nyakane said.
She noted that after the episode of searching her house, the police officers introduced themselves as Superintendent Thamae and Superintendent Lichaba who told her to report herself to Police Headquarters on Monday, April 8, 2019.
Nyakane narrated that the police officers told her that she will tell them the truth of who gave her husband a phone in prison, and that she must bring along all the phone receipts with her.
“Police officers told me that I will give them the list of people who gave my husband a phone, whether I like it or not,” she said.
Nyakane noted that from their tone she understood them to mean that she is going to be tortured.
“I verily believed that I am going to be tortured if I do not implicate my husband or myself. I must state at the onset that I am not willing to say anything to police or assist them to investigate the case against my husband, myself or anyone they may suspect.”
Nyakane stated she was ordered by the Police to never discuss their visit to her house with anyone else until she reported herself to the police, moreover, she said they also told her that they knew that she was a soldier so she knew how things are done.
“By this I understood them to mean that they are going to torture me.”
Nyakane said the manner in which they stormed into her house, the movements they made when searching the house, and the tone of their voices when they told her that she will talk when she got to the police station left her and her minor children in total shock.
She noted her and the children did not sleep well that night.
Nyakane related the following day, upon realising that her children were still traumatised by the events of the previous night, she took them to see a doctor.
“One of them fainted and the doctor recommended that we attend therapy sessions starting on Monday April 8, 2019.”
Nyakane stressed that emotional torture has already been carried out against her and her minor children by the same police officers who already told her that she will talk when she reports to the police station, hence she approached the court for protection.
“I approach the Court as of right to be protected from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment which may further be meted against me in case I do not give explanation favourable to the police’s cause, more so when the police have already, by implication, indicated that I will be tortured if I do not reveal who gave my husband a phone,” her affidavit read.
Nyakane said that she is not willing to face her tormentors’ again before she undergoes proper therapy as advised by her doctor.
“I verily aver that I am still in shock and in the interest of my well-being I should be allowed to undergo the therapy sessions uninterrupted,” she said.
Advocate Kabelo Letuka has confirmed that in all circumstances this is a matter for urgent relief on the grounds that the threat to the life of Captain Litekanyo’s is imminent and wrongful in reference to Penal Code threat of death and or physical harm, either directly or indirectly.
Furthermore according to the same Code and International Human Rights Law, torture is a crime against humanity.
Letuka said the Court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter in as much as the facts given rise to institution of this case happened within its area of jurisdiction; at Makoanyane barracks where Mampho Nyakane currently lives with her and Captain Nyakane’s two children.
Captain Nyakane is accused together with other members of the army, namely Captain Haleeo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Motsamai Fako, Corporal Morasi ‘Moleli, Corporal Motšoane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seithleko and Corporal Tšitso Ramoholi.
The solders are accused alongside former army boss who is in prison, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, of murdering army commander, Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao.
Lt-Gen Mahao’s family accused the army of killing him in cold blood according to the explanation of his nephews who were with him during the incident. Lt-Gen Mahao was fatally shot by his former LDF colleagues on 25 June 2015 on the outskirts of Maseru.
The LDF claimed at the time that Mahao had resisted arrest for allegedly leading a mutiny when he was killed, but that claim was dismissed as dishonest by a Southern African Development Commission inquiry into his death.
Captain Nyakane is also facing a murder charge alongside Kamoli of the murder of Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko who was shot and killed by members of the LDF at the Police Headquarters on 30 August 2014 during the attempted coup. Nyakane also faces a mutiny charge in relation to the events that led to the killing of the former army commander, Lt-Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo, on 5 September 2017 at Ratjomose barracks.