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Crown accuses Ntsie of “delay tactics”

By Thoboloko Nts’onyane

MASERU – The crown counsel, Advocate Lehlanako Mofilikoane has a double murder accused Habofanoe Lephuthela Ntsie of playing “delay tactics”.

This transpired today at the High Court, where the accused legal representative Advocate Raboloetse Makara requested more time to study the ruling and advise the accused accordingly.

Advocate Makara said he needs some time to study the ruling and advise his client accordingly.

It would be recalled that the case has stalled owing to Ntsie’s failure to secure the lawyer. The court has since assigned him the pro deo counsel.

Advocate Mofilikoane said the postponement of the case is the futile exercise as the ruling has been made and the accused has been found guilty.

Speaking through his legal representative, the accused argued that his deportation was unlawful. Meanwhile, the crown submitted that the accused had all time from April 2019 to challenge the legality of his deportation.

“That would be a waste of time,” she said reacting to the accused plea for postponement.

Ntsie is planning to file the application for the stay of these proceedings as well as challenge his deportation alleging that due diligence was not performed. These are the reasons advanced by his lawyer when he requested court to postpone the matter.

His lawyer was furnished with the order made by then South Africa’s Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha.

The ruling has been made and the accused is expected to ask for mitigation, the process which will be followed by sentencing.

Ntsie has been fugitive of justice for about 10 years, after running from the court while his case was in underway. He only reappeared this year in March and he was extradited by SA government, and has since remained in custody after his bail was revoked.

He is charged of being fugitive of the law and also faces two counts of murder allegedly committed in November 2004. He is accused of killing Souru Masupha and Habaka Mahao at or near Lancer’s Gap in Thuate plateau.

The case is before Judge ‘Maseforo Mahase.

The matter has been stood down to November 14. The accused remains in custody.