MASERU — A Lesotho Workers Party (LWP) MP, Sello Machakela, is under police investigation for assaulting his lover.
Machakela is married and has four children.
His wife lives in South Africa.
Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha confirmed on Tuesday that ’Mamonts’eng Manetsa opened an assault case against Machakela at the Maseru Central Charge Office on December 27.
Masupha however said he could not reveal the details of Machakela and Manetsa’s quarrel for fear of jeopardising ongoing investigations.
“Once the police are convinced that Mr Machakela committed the crime the case will be taken to the courts,” Masupha said.
“It is not wise to discuss the details of their quarrel at this stage lest we jeopardise investigations.”
Masupha said this was not the first time that Manetsa had reported being assaulted by the legislator.
Earlier last year, Masupha said, Manetsa reported that Machakela had assaulted her.
He said police did not open a case against Machakela because Manetsa did not come back with the medical form she had been given for a doctor to record her injuries.
“The police’s occurrence book shows that she reported that Mr Machakela assaulted her and injured her but the docket was not opened because she did not open a case,” he said.
“She should have gone to the hospital and come back to the charge office to open the case but she never did.”
Manetsa made a second report of assault at the Maseru Central Police Station on December 21 but again a case was never opened because she did not submit a medical form.
The officer commanding Maseru urban, Ts’eliso Ts’ita, confirmed that Manetsa had indeed reported that Machakela had assaulted her.
Ts’ita added that on October 28 Machakela had opened a case of housebreaking and theft against Manetsa.
According to the charge sheet, Machakela alleged Manetsa had stolen M380 from his house.
“The police have completed investigating housebreaking and theft cases against the woman and the case is before the Maqhaka Local Court,” Ts’ita said.
“On a day she was supposed to appear before court it was learnt that she couldn’t because she was injured after Mr Machakela allegedly battered her,” he said.
“That was when she came to the police to report but did not open the case,” he said.
“At the time, it was as if they were solving their problems out of court and the police felt that there was no case since the complainant was no longer interested in pursuing it.”
On December 1 Machakela reported to the police that Manetsa had stolen his cellphone and a case was opened.
Ts’ita said Machakela and Manetsa told the police that they were lovers and at the time of the assault they were living together in Naleli.
“We do not know exactly the cause of their quarrel but we were told by them that they were living together as lovers,” he said.
Ts’ita said Manetsa had told the police that the beatings did not ruin their love affair.
Manetsa, Ts’ita said, told the police that she had only reported Machakela to the police because she wanted him to stop battering her.
On December 27 Manetsa eventually opened a case against Machakela after another battering.
Ts’ita said the police have already started investigating a case of assault against Machakela.
Machakela denied that he had beaten Manetsa on all the occasions that she reported to the police but confirmed that they were lovers.
He said Manetsa is on a “smear campaign” because he refused to give her M500 she had requested for her child’s school fees.
Machakela claims after he refused to give her the money Manetsa threatened to make people hate him.
“She said I will make you stink like a beetle and people will hate you,” Machakela said.
Concerning the December 27 report Machakela said he never assaulted Manetsa.
He alleged that Manetsa had earlier told a doctor that she had been injured after she tripped on the steps at her house but when she went to the police she said he had beaten her.
Efforts to contact Manetsa were not successful as her phone was unavailable.
Machakela is a former labour minister in the LCD government and a founding member of the ABC.
He is currently the deputy chairman of the All Basotho Convention party.
He secured a seat in parliament under the proportional representation system when his LWP entered into an alliance with the ABC.