The prosecution has on Thursday joined Retired Army Commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli and former Director General for National Security Services (NSS) Colonel Tumo Lekhooa as the ninth and tenth accused respectively in a case in which eight other soldiers are charged with murder of slain Army Commander Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao.
Asked by the court to read an indictment for Lieutenant General Kamoli alone as Colonel Lekhooa is still at large, Advocate Shaun Abrahams who represents the crown in this case read that the accused are charged with murder in contravention of Section 40 (1) and 40 (2) of the Penal Code Act of 2010.
Advocate Abrahams explained that in count one, the charge alleges that on June 25, 2015 at Ha-Lekete, Mokema and or at Ha-Ratjomose, the accused together with Colonel Tefo Hashatsi and Brigadier Bulane Sechele (now deceased) and persons unknown to the crown, shared a common purpose of unlawfully and intentionally causing the death of Lieutenant General Mahao by shooting him with an automatic rifle.
The accused are also charged with conspiracy to murder as the first alternative in that between August 2014 and June 25, 2015 and at Ha-Lekete, Mokema and or at Ha-Ratjomose, the accused together with the two deceased officers as it appears in the above charge intentionally conspired to cause the death of Lieutenant General Mahao who they shot with an automatic rifle.
The accused are in the second alternative charged with aiding and abetting murder in that during the same dates and venue as the above alternative count,they unlawfully and intentionally aided and abetted Colonel Hashatsi and Brigadier Sechele to cause the death of Lieutenant General Mahao.
With regard to the third alternative that only relates to Lieutenant General Kamoli, he is charged with counseling and or procuring and or inciting murder in that during the same dates and venue as the above alternative counts, he unlawfully and intentionally counseled, procured or incited Colonel Hashatsi, Brigadier Sechele, Colonel Lekhooa and eight other soldiers who are already charged with the murder of Lieutenant General Mahao to cause his (Mahao) death by shooting him with an automatic rifle.
Lieutenant General Kamoli is also charged with issuing of superior orders to murder in that during the same venue and dates as the above counts, he being the Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) at the time and was in a position of authority over all soldiers herein charged with and did unlawfully and intentionally issue an order to his co-accused to cause the death of Lieutenant General Mahao by shooting him, the order being clearly and or manifestly illegal.
In count two, Lieutenant General Kamoli and Colonel Lekhooa are charged with attempted murder in that during the same venue and dates as the above counts, they together with Colonel Hashatsi and Brigadier Sechele shared a common goal or purpose and attempted to cause the death of Mahao Mahao by shooting inside the vehicle in which he was a passenger with an automatic rifle.
They are also charged with risk of injury or death by intentionally working together with Colonel Hashatsi and Brigadier Sechele in subjecting Mahao Mahao to the risk of serious injury to his body and subjected him to the risk of death by shooting inside a vehicle in which he was a passenger.
The duo is also charged with theft in that they worked together with Colonel Hashatsi and Brigadier Sechele and intentionally took a 9mm pistol with firearm certificate as well as Samsung galaxy S3 mobile telephone belonging to Lieutenant General Mahao with the intention of permanently depriving him the said property.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Kamoli was ordered by Judge Charles Hungwe to meet with his Lawyer and prepare themselves for the upcoming Pre-Trial Conference (PTC) that will be held before February 20, 2019.
He will on the above date appear before court with eight other co-accused as Colonel Lekhooa is still at large.
The court has since been set to April 1, 2019 as the first hearing day for the case.
Other soldiers charged with Lieutenant General Mahao’s murder are Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Captain Haleo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Motsamai Fako, Corporal Marasi 'Moleli, Corporal Mots'oane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlhoko and Corporal Ts'itso Ramoholi.