- Compol Molibeli quashes social media claim Mokaloba’s life is in danger should Kamoli receive bail
- ‘Bogus statement’ shows Mokaloba confessing to simultaneous bombings of January 2014 as being the mastermind instructed by Kamoli
Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has shot down a social media statement that insinuates bad blood between two Lesotho Defence Force heavyweights, Major-General Manka Mokaloba and Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, as fake.
Trending on the social media this week was a document which appeared to be a leaked and shocking statement that Mokaloba allegedly endorsed before the police as his evidence against Kamoli.
The statement purports Mokaloba confessed to the simultaneous bombings of January 29, 2014, where the residences of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s partner, Liabiloe Ramoholi (Now First Lady Maesaiah Thabane), her close neighbour ’Mamoshoeshoe Moletsane in Moshoeshoe II, as well as of former police commissioner Khothatso Tšooana in Ha-Abia, were shelled in what sent shockwaves to the nation.
The statement shows Mokaloba admitting he was the mastermind behind the two attacks in Moshoeshoe II, but says he was instructed by the embattled former army commander, Kamoli.
He adds, as per the statement, that while he was not responsible for the third bombing in Ha-Abia, Kamoli gave him a sign he knew something about it when he told him to “calm and stop panicking about it”.
Kamoli, Mokaloba noted, had since instructed the army officials never to reveal details of the operation to anyone, if they did “I will kill you myself,” the statement purports the commander said.
Mokaloba, therefore, pleads with the relevant authorities not to release Kamoli on bail as that will endanger his life now that he has spilled the beans, according to the statement.
The former LDF commander is in jail, charged with the murder of police Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko during the attempted coup of August 2014. Kamoli also faces 14 counts of attempted murder in connection with the January 29 bombings.
The ‘bogus statement’ partly reads: “I (Mokaloba) was working in the LDF as Brigade Commander when the bombings occurred. Before the occurrences, the former army commander General Kamoli told me that Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s bodyguards informed him of a dangerous possible plan brewing at the State House by one Colonel Matobakele and the late Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao. He said the plan was to remove both the police commissioner and the army commander
“General Kamoli said we should come up with a strategy to distract the group but not injure anyone during the process. He said he trusted my skills for the mission. He gave me the command in the presence of Major General (Khoantle) Motšomotšo, Major General Lineo Poopa and Brigadier (Mojalefa) Letsoela.
“One Sunday I assured him that I took the command and that I will implement it. He gave me go-ahead and made me aware that the prime minister will be out of the country that particular day.
“I then called Major (Ntlele) Ntoi, Hlehlisi, Makoae, Heqoa, (Tefo) Hashatsi and Nyakane to take hand grenades and attack Liabiloe’s house at 22:00 hours.
“Those gentlemen took the directive and used a government vehicle that was authorised by Morena Letsoela. I stood at the top of Mpilo Road to watch police moves as my team went to Moshoeshoe II.
“Immediately after a huge sound of the grenades, I left for Makoanyane barracks where I received a call from Captain Hashatsi informing me about the job well done. He said there were no injuries incurred. I called General Kamoli to inform him about the job well done only to find so furious about the whole operation.
“He asked me to meet with him at Lekhaloaneng so that we can both go to inspect the crime scene at Moshoeshoe II. While we were still at ’Me Liabiloe’s house, we heard that the similar bombing was done at Khothatso Tšooana’s house in Ha-Abia. He then told me to calm down because Deputy Commissioner of Police (Keketso) Monaheng will address the matter, and I thought they both knew what happened there.
“Later on, General Kamoli was with Brigadier Letsoela and angrily told me that the secret operation was not handled well, therefore he instructed us not to make any noise about it. I apologised to both of them and they asked me not to panic.
“When government changed in 2015, I asked Brigadier to go with me to the police so that we can work together going forward. It should be clear that General Kamoli threatened that should anyone disclose what transpired about the bombing incidence, he was going to kill him. Now that I have, I plead that Kamoli should be denied bail together with the soldiers charged with the bombings because my life will be in danger”.
The statement seems signed by Mokaloba at the bottom, but the Major-General refused to comment when the MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism contacted him.
But Molibeli, for his part, told the Center that the statement, that made rounds on different social media platforms, was fake.
“It is not true that we recently called Major-General Mokaloba for interrogation about this matter, from which it alleged he made the statement.
“The way a saw the document and how it was presented, I would advise you to contact the Law Office because the police do not deal with bail applications.
“However, the details about police interrogation with Ntate Mokaloba, which happened a long ago (November 2017), remain confidential until due time. I can firmly declare that document on social media to be false. It is fake,” the commissioner said.
Repeated efforts to secure a comment from acting Director of Public Prosecution Hlalefang Motinyane were unsuccessful with her phone unreachable.
Meanwhile, an authoritative source speaking to the Centre on condition of anonymity has indicated that the last time Mokaloba was summoned before the police for interrogation was in November 2017, “and he had never pleaded for Kamoli not to be released on bail”.
But worth mentioning, the source said, was the existing tension in the army, which may have caused the “bogus statement to be making rounds on social media”.
The officer said the fake statement was a “probing tactic” to find about Mokaloba’s side “because he has been silent”.
“The tensions in the army still exist. Soldiers from exile and maximum prison don’t see eye to eye with those who victimised them at work. One of the factions is against Maj-Gen Mokaloba’s promotions, especially as he was implicated in the crimes which some soldiers are in prison for. So, they are poking him. When the time is ripe, his true stamen before the police will be known to the public. The public will realise then that this current document is a fake”.