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Police brutality cripples economy

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Three police officers experienced what it means to be at the mercy of the court for emancipation from the claws of the police when they were saved by the High Court of Lesotho.

The court came to the rescue of three Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA) members from the claws of the Lesotho Mounted Police (LMPS) this week.

Justice Molefi Makara’s intervention came after three LEPOSA executive officials; Lance Sergeant Mathebe Motseki National Treasure, Senior Inspector Teboho Modia President and Inspector ‘Makatleho Mphetho who was denied access to medication and health facility, were detained in connection with their union participating in intended industrial action at the High Court on March 28, 2022.

The order directed the police’s Special Investigations Unit, Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli, Minister of Police, Lepota Sekola and the Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa to stop harassing the three comrades, release them from detention until the case is heard next Thursday and reveal what kind of case they have against the leaders of LEPOSA.

The Deputy Chairperson of LEPOSA in the Central Region, Mohapi None told this publication this week that the police will have to spell out how their association is different from the rest of the picketing associations and unions making up the Coalition of Lesotho Public Employees (COLEPE).   

None further stated that Deputy Secretary General of LEPOSA ‘Makatleho Mphetho had been denied leave from the Police Headquarters when seeking access to her medication by the men in blue despite her supposed deteriorating health.

Although the unpalatable treatment is not a fair treatment meted against anyone, it must have been quite something else for the officers to taste a dose of their own medicine.

More often than not, and during arrests, suspects are subjected to inhumane treatment at the hands of the law enforcers who suck out the evidence from them, sometimes getting them holed up in police holding cells with no charges being preferred against them, which naturally ought to be very point of contact.

It was even worse when it was said that one of them was denied access to medication. This can never be an acceptable way of dealing with people, suspects or not as that is akin to threatening their right life which is enshrined in the Constitution.

It is further reported that during questioning they were severed with about seven hours of intense grilling at the hands of their colleagues at the Police Headquarters from 1000hrs to around 1730hrs in the evening.

One cannot help but wonder the kind of questions that people have to endure at the hands of police as to warrant keeping people in for a whole day dealing with a subject as obvious as what those cops were doing among the masses of other state employees irate about their payments. We here at Newsday would not have minded helping out with answers about what those were doing there.

Maybe they were able to come out of the gruelling grilling because unlike some of us mere ordinary mortals they have been through service/force training. Otherwise, a situation which has become common with ordinary man might have arisen whence one is quizzed until they tire forever at the hands of police a phenomenon known in vernacular as ho khathalla lipotsong (loosely translated into succumbing to fatigue during police ‘questioning’). When suspects often succumb to this kind of tiredness we go their homes for their burials.

No one deserves this kind of treatment!!

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