Mob justice suspects brought to book

LINED UP: Lentsweletau mob appearing before court
New charges and 8 suspects added to 30 Lentsweletau rioters

About eight people have been added to the 30 suspects charged with inciting violence and causing malicious damage to property in Lentsweletau village recently.

The 38 accused were part of an angry mob that went on the rampage during the search for 32-year-old Oteng Tebogo Mokokong who went missing on March 17th, 2021, and was later found dead and decomposed in the bush.

The accused are said to have taken the law into their hands burning down property at the village customary court and vandalising a newly built funeral parlour as well as government vehicles following the mysterious disappearance of Mokokong after he arrived in the village from a traditional doctor where he worked.

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The first accused, Phenyo Mokokong, was charged with inciting violence while 29 others were charged with malicious property damage.

According to the new amended charge sheet 7 counts were read before the court on Tuesday when the accused appeared for mention.

About nine suspects were charged with abduction. The accused acting together and in concert are said to have abducted one Ali Mmelesi.

On the second count, all the 38 accused are charged with rioting, which they engaged in after Senior Superintendent Modise Gabatshwane had instructed them to disperse.

On count three, 21 suspects charged with malicious property damage unlawfully damaged a brick and mortar tuck shop valued at P190 000.00 being the property of one Nkane Rampae.

The same accused were alleged to have stolen items valued at P15 000.00 from a tuck shop belonging to Rampae and charged with theft.

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About eight of the suspects were charged with damaging a Toyota Hiace motor vehicle valued at P78 000.00 belonging to the same Rampae.

Two of the accused were alleged to have damaged an office block valued at P500 000.00 being government property.

On yet another charge, the duo Onkabetse Shabane aged 30, and Keabetswe Sebape, 28, are said to have damaged a Village Development Committee house valued at P200 000.00 occupied by one Lungisani Moffat Masubi.

Particulars of offence have indicated that all the offences were committed on the same day March 28th, 2021.

All the 38 suspects are reported to have caused damages to properties worth P983 000.00 in total.

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They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were advised to appear for the final case management conference on October 8th, 2021 to set trial dates.

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