Lesoto, Leshoto Times, Inglês


Moorosi Tsiane 

FORMER Minister of Police and Public Safety, Lepota Sekola, has been slapped with stock theft charges for allegedly importing cattle from South Africa without proper documentation. 

Mr Sekola was hauled to the Maseru Magistrates Court on Tuesday where he appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate, Thamae Thamae, with Advocate Matiase Chopho as the prosecutor. 

Mr Sekola was a staunch member of the All Basotho Convention (ABC). He had won the Makhaleng constituency under the ABC banner in 2017 and was appointed Minister of Police and Public Safety in June 2021 by then Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro. He had earlier been the deputy Minister of Water. He in 2022 ditched the ABC to join the Democratic Congress. 

According to the charge sheet, Mr Sekola was on 15 March found in possession of two cattle from South Africa without having a permit issued by the principal veterinary officer or any person designated by the veterinary officer to issue such permits. 

He was also charged for unlawfully and intentionally importing livestock from South Africa into Lesotho illegally by not crossing at the prescribed border posts. 

“That upon or about the 15th day of March 2024 at Borokhoaneng in the district of Maseru, the said accused did unlawfully and intentionally import or cause or allow to be imported into Lesotho from South Africa two cows without having any permit issued by the principal veterinary officer,” part of the chargesheet reads. 

“… the said accused did unlawfully and intentionally import into Lesotho livestock from South Africa to wit; two cows except through a prescribed port of entry. 

“In that upon or about 18th day March 2024 at Borokhoaneng in the district of Maseru, the said accused did unlawfully and intentionally have in his possession a livestock or its produce without a reasonable or satisfactory explanation of such possessions thus committed the crime (sic).” 

Mr Sekola sat in the dock, dressed in a maroon three-piece suit, with his hands resting on his laps. He indicated that he understood the charges after they were read to him by Magistrate Thamae who also told him of his rights to bail and lawyer of his choice. 

Thereafter, Mr Sekola’s lawyer, Adv Souru Malabulabu, applied for his client to be admitted to bail. 

Adv Malabulabu motivated the bail petition by stating that Mr Sekola was a Lesotho citizen with a family and businesses in Lesotho and that he had been cooperative with the police, having availed himself to be arraigned in court. 

He asked the court to admit Mr Sekola to free bail and Adv Chopho did not oppose the bail application. 

Magistrate Thamae therefore granted the free bail on condition that Mr Sekola attends remands, does not interfere with state witnesses or police investigations and stands trial to finality. 

“The accused is released on a free bail. He should attend remands and should not interfere with witnesses,” said Magistrate Thamae. 

Mr Sekola was also ordered to reappear before the same court on 13 May 2024. 



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