HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
MALUNGA MATEE Applicant
by the Hon. Mr Justice M L Lehohla on the 31st day of July, 2000.
applicant has filed a petition before this Court accompanied by his
paragraph 21 of his petition he prays that he be granted bail on the
following conditions :
he attends remands
he pays M500-00 cash
he finds surety in the sum of M3000-00
he stands trial.
petitioner is charged along with one Sefafe Ramosana as reflected in
Count I with Murder allegedly committed on 19th June 1999;
Count II with attempted murder allegedly committed on 19th June 1999;
Count III with contravention of Section 3(2)(a) Act No.17 of 1966
(Arms and Ammunition Act) allegedly committed on 19th June 1999.
I the deceased is one Lebohang Agente while in Count II the
complainant is Trooper Mahase.
in case CR 657/1999.
another charge sheet to which is attached another annexure "A"
the petitioner is charged along with Bereng Khitsane with the
attempted murder of Seitlheko Selialia allegedly committed on 9th
in case CR 654/99.
next charge sheet to which is attached another Annexure "A"
the petitioner is charged alone
Count I with the attempted murder of Trooper Nyooko on 2nd April,
Count II with the attempted murder of Trooper Mothe on 2nd April,
Count III with the attempted murder of Trooper Maphatsoe on 2nd
in case CR 349/2000.
face of this formidable list of charges Mr Teele for the petitioner
anticipates the natural reaction that the list looks disturbing but
he is quick to caution that this is so far as looks go; and that
looks can be deceiving.
petitioner denies the charge involving Selialia in case CR 654/99 and
says he does not even know the alleged complainant. He explains that
he is a victim of a very wild suspicion based on the fact that he
happened to have been seen drinking with Khitsane who has since been
admitted to bail.
chronology in the instant matter appears most likely to throw the
light on the dispute between the petitioner and the Crown and in the
process would most
certainly help bring a solution to the problem.
events concerning Selialia in CR 654 are said to have occurred on 9th
In CR 349
three policemen are complainants. Events here are said to have taken
place on 2nd April, 1999.
murder charge consists of three counts relating to events alleged to
have occurred on 19th June, 1999.
paragraph 4 the petitioner avers that he is alleged to have pointed a
firearm at the three complainants, discharged a bullet and missed the
paragraph 5 he is adamant that he knows nothing of the alleged
paragraph 8 of his opposing affidavit Sgt Makoae admits contents of
the petitioners averments in paragraph 4. He adds further that there
are two more counts wherein the petitioner is charged with attempted
murder. He elaborates that the petitioner fired the shots while
resisting arrest. Again it is stressed that the
complainants were police officers who were shot at while trying to
arrest the petitioner. Reference is made to CR 654/99.
paragraph 3 the petitioner says he doesn't know Selialia; in
opposition thereto Sgt Makoae in paragraph 7 vehemently denies the
petitioner's denials and goes so far as to assert that the
applicant/petitioner knows Selialia and furnishes the reason for so
saying; namely that the two resided in the same Nyenye village.
at paragraph 3 the petitioner reiterates contents of his founding
affidavit reflected in paragraph 3 thereof. The petitioner challenges
Sgt Makoae by indicating that not even the complainant has furnished
evidence that he and the petitioner know each other. Indeed the
statement by Selialia in "CM2" which is among statements by
witnesses in police dockets gives credence to the petitioner's
assertion in this regard.
himself having been stung to the quick by the Crown Counsel Mrs
'Matahleho Matiea's unfortunate averments in paragraphs 3 and 4 which
seem to have endorsed Sgt Makoae's misleading evidence filed an
affidavit that seems to expose inaccuracies and wrong presumptions on
which Mrs Matiea's contentions are
simple application of common sense would show the baselessness of the
Crown's endeavour to justify the arrest connected with the counts
relating to attempted murder of police officers.
maintains that the arrest which was resisted by the applicant was in
pursuance of an offence committed in CR 654/99. The natural reaction
would be that the offence in CR 654/99 was committed before the one
which resulted in attempted murders of the police officers. But
surprise! surprise!! it appears that on 2nd April, 1999 when an
offence relating to CR 346/2000 took place the petitioner was being
arrested in respect of a crime that had not yet been committed i.e. a
crime that was to be committed on 9th April, 1999. This gives
credence to the version by the petitioner that there is a concerted
effort to fabricate false evidence against him and give substance
therefore to the petitioner's version that the police told him that
they would make sure he didn't leave prison.
being alive to the principle that in order to deny an applicant bail
it should be indicated that he had either previously interfered with
to abscond, invited Mr Hoeane for the Crown to say whether the
alleged attempt to resist arrest would fit the bill in this case
despite the awkwardness revealed by evidence. The learned Crown
Counsel was unable to give any clear answer;
so. I say understandably so because no worthwhile attempt was made to
breach this gaping hollow and embarrassingly indefensible voidness in
the Crown's case.
cannot ignore the fact that this incident has been relied upon by the
Crown to strengthen its case against the granting of bail. Thus if it
turns out that the chronology of events tends to leave the Crown with
an egg on its face, surely it would be absurd to hope that the Court
should close its eyes to the illogicity that is at the very core of
the Crown's case.
the Crown has tried to show that there is likelihood of the
petitioner absconding occasioned by multiplicity of serious crimes
committed. But one such multiplicity appears to me to be a single
case multiplied by three for reasons of making it appear that more
crimes were committed than the facts reflect. I fail to see how a
single shot alleged to have been fired by the petitioner can be said
to attempted murder on each of the three police officers without
evidence that a shot was fired at each one of them or that they were
positioned in a single line in which case a shot fired at the first
would apprehensibly strike the next policeman in line and the next
thereafter till it goes out of steam.
took the trouble to attach the Preparatory Examination record to the
instant proceeding to negate the Crown's allegations that the
Preparatory Examination record would show that the petitioner drew a
pistol in the murder charge. Instead of pointing at the evidence to
substantiate the Crown's assertion the deponents annex the order made
by the Magistrate committing the petitioner to trial in the High
Court. However the random statements taken at the Preparatory
Examination show that the deceased is the one who drew a gun.
cannot be allowed to adopt the unwholesome tactic of reneging from
its own evidence at Preparatory Examination in order to frustrate the
petitioner's application for bail. Moreso because at this stage of
proceedings the petitioner is presumed innocent until convicted. His
application can be refused if it can be shown on proper evidence that
the interests of justice would be defeated if he is freed on bail.
Court has taken into account that the petitioner is a Lesotho
citizen, has a wife and children in this Kingdom and has a fixed
place of abode and work.
accordingly granted bail as prayed and on conditions set out in
paragraph 21 of his petition and subject to a further condition that
he report at Maputsoe Police Station every Saturday between 6 a.m.
and 6 p.m.
must thank both Counsel for their invaluable sets of heads of
arguments filed timeously at very very short notice.
Applicant: Mr Teele
Respondent: Mr Hoeane
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