POLICE and Public Safety Minister, ‘Mampho Mokhele, says government recalled 21 police officers because the previous regime did not follow the proper procedures when it fired them.
The officers were recalled to work on 19 July, 2017 following a directive by the-then Acting Police Commissioner Keketso Monaheng.
They were fired from the police service by embattled police commissioner, Molahlehi Letsoepa allegedly for various offences ranging from misconduct to participating in political activities.
The 21 officers are Moraleli Motloli, Makobane and Matekane (all Inspectors), Letsipa and Ramakatsa (Lance Sergeants), Hlalele, Matoko, Tšita, Ntlou, Rakhupu, Sehloho, Maliba, Khemisi, Lebohang Motlatsi, Phakoe, Hloaisi, Teba, Nzamane, Motlomelo and Ramahloko (Private Constables) as well as Woman Police Constable (WPC) ‘Mabohlokoa Makotoko.
Inspector Motloli, who was also Lesotho Staff Police Association (LEPOSA) General Secretary, was dismissed from the service in April this year for refusing to take orders from his superiors.
He was dismissed shortly after demanding that Commissioner Letsoepa and his advisory board respond to Alliance of Democrats leader and now Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki’s allegations that police recruitment was riddled with nepotism, partisanship and corruption.
Mr Moleleki, who is former Police minister, accused the Democratic Congress and Lesotho Congress for Democracy parties of staffing the security forces with their supporters. The parties have since denied the allegation.
WPC Makotoko was dismissed from the police service in March this year for alleged misconduct.
She subsequently filed an application before the High Court on 31 March 2017 for an order to nullify the police commissioner’s decision on the grounds that she was not afforded a hearing before she was dismissed.
WPC Makotoko was the main witness in the ongoing case to investigate the whereabouts of Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng who went missing in March last year at Hlotse Police Station.
PC Motlatsi and 10 other officers were fired from the service for allegedly participating in political activities in contravention of police regulations.
Speaking this week on the 21 officers, Ms Mokhele said they were recalled because proper procedures were not followed when firing them.
“I am not saying the officers are not guilty but I am of the view that proper procedures were not followed when they were dismissed from the service.
“They must be given an opportunity to respond to charges levelled against them and let the justice system find if they are guilty or not,” Ms Mokhele said.