Man in court for killing cop in suspected love triangle

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MASERU — A Mazenod man appeared in court yesterday for allegedly shooting dead a senior policeman at a guest house after suspecting him of having a sexual relationship with his wife.

Rethabile Mphahama, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and illegal possession of a firearm.

He is being accused of killing Tanki Bulane, a police superintendent, on January 10 last year at Molemo Guest House at Ha Ts’osane.

Murder carries a maximum penalty of death.

‘Makatiso Molongoana, a receptionist at the guest house at the time of the murder, told the court yesterday that Bulane booked a room at 13.30 pm on the fateful day.

Mphahama’s wife arrived 20 minutes later and went straight into the room booked by the late policeman, she said.

She told Judge Ts’eliso Monaphathi that Mphahama, wearing shorts, entered the gate at the guest house just at the same time as his wife entered Bulane’s room.

Molongoana did not immediately attend to Mphahama because she then went to collect her food at that time.

“When I came and went to the reception to assist the guest whom I saw entering the gate I did not see him. I then heard voices in Room 2 and went to check.

“I knocked three times and a woman came out with hands on her head,” she said.

This woman, according to the witness, was the one she had earlier seen enter the guest house and later identified as Mphahama’s wife.

“While we were still standing there with this woman, we heard gunshots inside the room,” Molongoana said.

She said the woman then returned into the room again, emerging later with the accused.

The two left the guest house, while Molongoana reported the matter to the owner of the guest house. It is not clear at what point police arrested Mphahama.

Molongoana, who quit her job at the end of January this year, said Bulane and Mphahama’s wife were regulars at the guest house and she had spotted them on at least four occasions prior to the fateful day.

Bulane would come first, while the woman would follow later on the occasions they had visited the guest house, she said.

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