MASERU — A female soldier is demanding M700 000 in damages from Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, after she was allegedly tortured by military intelligence officers.
Ntšiuoa Molapo, a married woman whose husband is also a soldier, alleges that three army intelligence officers stripped her naked before taking turns to kick her private parts last week.
They then photographed her while nude.
In a letter of demand dated January 14, 2013 seen by the Lesotho Times this week Molapo’s lawyer, ’Mole Kumalo, said they viewed “these acts as violation of the fundamental rights of a human being and total disregard for the respect of the privacy and integrity of a person”.
He added that Molapo had also been suffocated with a rubber on several occasions during the interrogation.
“Furthermore one of the assaulters had the audacity to hold and or grip her head between his thighs while the other two continued to assault her on her back with a stick-like object of which she could not see,” reads part of Kumalo’s letter.
“These officers had the audacity and tenacity to take photos of the naked body of a helpless and hapless woman after performing their brutal acts.”
The Lesotho Times saw a copy of a medical form, understood to have been provided by the police, where a doctor described that Molapo’s pubic area had swelled.
The form also indicated Molapo had some wounds at the back.
This paper also saw pictures of the back of a woman with multiple whip marks crossing each other.
Efforts to contact Molapo were not successful.
However, her lawyer Kumalo told the Lesotho Times that his client was tortured after she jokingly told an intelligence officer that “trouble always followed her”.
The remark incensed the intelligence officer, Kumalo said.
He said Molapo, a private in the army, was standing with another soldier near Makoanyane Military Hospital at the Makoanyane barracks when the intelligence officer approached them.
“This woman was about to leave and when she saw the intelligence officer approaching, she jokingly said she was leaving because she knew that trouble always dogged her,” Kumalo said.
“The intelligence officer allegedly did not say anything at that stage but when he reported this to his superiors he is said to have told them that this woman said she knew who he was working for.”
It is understood that the intelligence office then called Molapo and demanded that she reveals who the intelligence officer was working for as she had alleged.
“When she denied that she had said those words and told them what she said, these agents tortured her,” he said.
LDF spokesperson, Major Ntlele Ntoi, confirmed yesterday that the army had received a letter from Kumalo.
Ntoi said he could however not reveal the details of the case because he was still to study it.
He also said even if he had examined the letter he would still not comment because the matter will now be before the courts of law.