Litjobo faces defamation charge

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AD Youth President Thuso Litjobo

Tefo Tefo

THE President of the Alliance of Democrats (AD) youth league, Thuso Litjobo yesterday appeared before the Magistrate’s Court charged with defaming top police officer on radio.

Mr Litjobo (34) faces a charge of making defamatory statements on Tšenolo FM on 11 January this year against Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Motlatsi Mapola.

He is alleged to have uttered defamatory words in Sesotho to the effect that Mr Mapola seemed to be active in party politics.

According to the charge sheet read to him in the Magistrate’s Court he, allegedly contravened section 101 read with section 104 of the Penal Code Act No. 6 of 2010.

Mr Litjobo is accused under the said provisions “in that upon or about the 11th day of January, 2017 and at or near Ha-Mabote (DLM complex), in the course of the programme styled, Fika-le-mohala and during a radio interview broadcast over Tšenolo FM, a radio station with a broad and wide listenership, the said accused did unlawfully, and intentionally publish and/or cause to be published, to the said entire listenership as aforesaid, the following words and/or statement defamatory of the complainant, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Motlatsi Mapola.”

The defamatory words referred to are quoted in Sesotho and can be interpreted to mean that ACP Mapola would be bored when the government changed because he seemed to be a “tool” used by the present government.

Mr Litjobo allegedly said Mr Mapola should refrain from participating in party politics or those that are close to him should advise him to refrain from such.

Mr Litjobo was released on bail on condition that he paid M500 as bail deposit and to stand trial to finality.

He will appear again before the Magistrate’s Court on 3 March for the court to set a date of hearing.

He appeared before the Magistrate, Nthabiseng Moopisa. Senior Crown Counsel Lesaoana Mohale prosecuted the case, while Advocate Tembo Lesupi represented him.

Mr Litjobo was arrested by members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) at his Lower-Thamae residence in Maseru on 15 January this year.

He was locked-up in Mokhalinyane police station in Maseru rural.

He was taken to the High Court on 16 January 2017 – a day after his arrest – after his wife lodged an application calling upon the police authorities to bring him to court dead or alive.

High Court judge, Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi ordered that he should be released from the police custody forthwith and he had been free until yesterday when he appeared before the Magistrate’s Court to face the present charge.

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