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DCEO sued M1million for assault

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: [email protected] Advertising: [email protected] Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Moorosi Tsiane

A QACHA’S Nek man has sued the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) for one million maloti over an alleged assault by the corruption busting body’s officers.

Relebohile Thulo says he was arrested by DCEO officials on 2 March 2023 and detained “without any reason justifiable in law”.

He told the court that it was during his detention that he was assaulted by the said officials. Mr Thulo, did however, not mention why he was arrested and the names of the said DCEO officials who detained and assaulted him.

“On or around the 2nd of March 2023, the officers of the DCEO unlawfully and wrongfully assaulted and detained plaintiff without any reason justifiable in law,” submits Mr Thulo in his court papers.

“As a result of the wrongful and unlawful assault and detention meted out by the DCEO officers upon plaintiff, he suffered damages in the amount of one million maloti for which the first defendant (DCEO) is held vicariously liable. The letter of demand has been served upon the DCEO in terms of law, but it has not reacted thereto to date.”

Of the one million maloti Mr Thulo is seeking, 250 000 is for assault, a similar amount is for pain and suffering. Another 250 000 is claimed for contumelia with the remainder being demanded for ‘unlawful detention’ with a cumulative interest rate on the whole sum of 12 percent from the filing of summons.

This is not the first time the DCEO is being accused of allegedly abusing the subjects of its probes.  Two business people, Bokang Semoko of Mohale’s Hoek and Motlatsi Tsiane of Roma, successfully petitioned the High Court to have their legal representatives present when being interrogated by DCEO officials. This to deter the officials from further assaulting them.

Messrs Semoko and Tsiane went to court after they had allegedly been abused by DCEO officials probing them in an ongoing multi-million corruption probe at the Disaster Management Authority (DMA). The two are alleged to have been part of a scam by former DMA chief executive officer, Caroline Mahosi, involving corrupt contracting during a state of emergency to fight Covid-19 and repair infrastructure damaged by floods.