Africa-Press – Lesotho. A fire gutted the records section of the Mafeteng Magistrate’s Court last week. The police suspect it was an act of arson. Thousands of crucial case records were destroyed.
This could affect hundreds of cases that were pending in the court. Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed the incident, saying investigations have started but no arrests have been made.
“But our preliminary investigations show that the court was intentionally set on fire,” S/Supt Mopeli said.
“Important court documents have been set alight together with some chairs and a table.
” A source close to the case told thepost that a container of petrol was found outside a broken window. The guard was not at work when the incident happened.
In 2010 computers containing information on cars registered in Maseru and Leribe were burnt in a fire that police suspected was deliberately started to destroy records and cover up corruption.
The Integrated Financial Management System computers, National Transport Information System server, computers, and a printer were destroyed. The incident happened as the police were investigating a syndicate that was illegally registering stolen cars.
In 2019 a fire at the Ministry of Health’s head office destroyed computers and records. Although ministry officials said the fire could have been caused by an electrical fault, suspicions of foul play lingered on.