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INSIDE LIPOLELO THABANE MURDER COVER-UP

By Staff Writers

Maseru, June 15 (The Night’s Watch) – Former First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane allegedly revealed to her employee ‘Makarabo Mojakhomo that she hired assassins to kill Lipolelo Thabane, unaware that the conversation was being recorded.

Later when Mojakhomo turned against ‘Maesaiah, police arrested her and handed her over to kidnappers to kill her, in part of a cover up which involved Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Beleme Lebajoa and the then Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation, ‘Mamotsie Motsie.

Mojakhomo allegedly miraculously managed to escape from her kidnappers and lived to tell the tale.

These revelations are contained in her affidavit she made in opposition of ‘Maesaiah’s bail application.

Lipolelo, former prime minister Thomas Thabanbe’s second wife, was murdered in a hail of bullets on June 14, 2017, while she was driving home in Ha Masana outside Maseru city.

She was driving with her acquaintance Thato Sibolla at the time of the attack who was also shot, sustaining injuries.

In court papers in January this year, the Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli, revealed that evidence linked Thabane to the assailants who killed his estranged wife, Lipolelo.

Thabane’s third wife, ‘Maesaiah, was later charged in the death.

Both Thabane and ‘Maesaiah have denied any wrong doing.

Mojakhomo, a former ally of ‘Maesaiah who worked as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at ‘Masesaiah Thabane Trust Fund, mysteriously disappeared from police custody on May 31, 2018, two days after police arrested her on allegations of fraud and theft by false pretence.

Police claimed that she “escaped” from police custody and police commissioner Holomo Molibeli said she was helped to escape.

But her family refused to accept the police’s version of events and filed an urgent habeas corpus application in the High Court.

“I aver that at all material times while I was working for ‘Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund, I transported part of the money for payment of the killers of Lipolelo Thabane,” Mojakhomo disclosed in her explosive affidavit.

“I aver that for more than five occasions, I gave money to one Motau Thulo. Thulo Motau is now deceased. He was murdered. It is said that he is part of the people who were killed in order to bury evidence because dead men tell no tales,” she added.

She further told the court that on the third occasion that she was sent to deliver M65,000 to Thulo, she unilaterally charged a M10,000 commission and only delivered M55,000 because ‘Maesaiah did not pay her for her cash-in-transit service.

“I aver that ‘Maesaiah Thabane got to know that I did not deliver the full amount of M65,000 to Thulo Motau. She then summoned me to hefr home, Makhoakhoeng in the ditsrcit of Maseru.

“I aver that upon arrival, she insulted and scolded me for the missing M10,000. She then asked me whether I knew how she got the status of the First Lady of Lesotho. She asked me whether I knew that Thulo was dangerous?

“She went on to ask whether I wanted to die like Lipolelo. It was then that she told me that she was paying for the murder of Lipolelo Thabane because Thulo Motau and others were hired to kill Lipolelo Thabane. From that moment onwards, I got to know why I was being sent to deliver different sums of money to Thulo Motau,” said Mojakhomo.

She said after the controversial businessman-turned-politician, Teboho Mojapela, formed his own party Socialist Revolutionaries (SR), she called him asking to work with him.

Mojapela is an erstwhile friend of Thabane and ‘Maesaiah.

He formed his party after he fell out with Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) a few months after Lipolelo was killed.

Mojakhomo said it was on a Monday when she called Mojapela asking to work with him. She said she told her colleague at ‘Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund after the call that she was going to work with Mojapela.

“I aver that on Wednesday which followed my telephone call to Mr. Mojapela, I was then called to the police station by police officer Lebajoa (Assistant Commissioner of Police Beleme Lebajoa). I said I could not report myself to the police because I was on the way to Mapoteng hospital (in Leribe),” she said.

When she said she could not make it to the police headquarters in Maseru, Lebajoa allegedly told her that he had sent other policemen to meet her at the hospital’s gate.

“I did not show up to the police at the gate. I then called ‘Maesaiah and told her that I was summoned to police headquarters by Lebajoa and told her that if she was trying to intimidate me with police, I had recorded her when she told me that the money she gave me to deliver to Thulo was payment for the killers of Lipolelo Thabane. She was angry and started insulting me. She said I could not threaten her,” Mojakhomo said.

She said after her call with ‘Maesaish, she briefly skipped the country and went to hide in Gauteng, South Africa.

However, her sister who stayed in Gauteng, got her a Ladybrand-based lawyer, Leon Mare, who accompanied her when she turned herself in to the police in Maseru.

“I was detained by police. ‘Maesaiah arrived at the police headquarters with ‘Mamotsie Motsie and I was then called into the office of the police officer Lebajoa. Upon arrival in that officer, I found officer Lebajoa on his desk. Oh his left it was policeman Mohoang, on the right corner of the desk was ‘Maesaiah while ‘Mamotsie was standing close to the door,” Mojakhomo said.

She said she was welcomed into the room by ‘Maesaiah’s insults and was asked by Motsie why she had recorded her conversation with ‘Maesaiah without the latter’s consent.

“I told her I could not take it anymore that ‘Maesaiah was using me to pay Lipolelo killers yet she was paying me while she was enjoying the benefits that come with the office of the First Lady. Mrs ‘Mamotsie wanted to engage me further but ‘Maesaiah was insulting me,” she said.

“Police officer Lebajoa then instructed policeman Mohoang to take me downstairs. Mohoang did not take me downstairs but instead handed me over to policewoman Thoola and policeman Seutloali. They left with me to their downstairs office,” she added.

She said police handed her over to the alleged kidnappers.

“The purpose was to have me killed. I am going to pursue cases against ‘Maesaiah Thabane and the police of attempted murder, murder of the child I was pregnant with that I lost through miscarriage while in unlawful detention, kidnapping, conspiracy to kill me, defeating the ends of justice and human trafficking.”

“I was handed over to my kidnappers by policewoman Thoola who was working with other police officers from police headquarters. The way the even was professionally handled, it could not have been the mastering of policewoman Thoola alone. My impression of her is that she is not intelligent to that level. I believe her life is in danger too as she may expose people,” Majakhomo said.

That was how she “disappeared” from police custody. NW

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