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Tlali’s bizarre bail

Rethabile Tlali was in remand prison for murder. When a group of inmates escaped from the Maseru Central Prison on December 21, Tlali joined them. He was however captured on the same night and thrown back into prison.

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But 12 days later and despite showing that he is a flight risk, Tlali bizarrely walked out of remand prison after the High Court granted him bail.

His joy was however short-lived when the police arrested him a few minutes later. This time they charged him with unlawful escape from and malicious damage to property in that he allegedly smashed the prison’s air vent as he escaped with his accomplices.

thepost asked the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s office how a suspect who has proven to be a flight risk by breaking out of remand prison could be granted bail. They answered that Tlali’s bail application had already been granted by the time he escaped.

Advocate Keketso Motiki, who appeared for the crown in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court, told thepost yesterday that although she was not the one handling the case in the High Court she understood that Tlali’s bail application had not been opposed.

“This says to me by the time the High Court granted him bail, the court had long read his application and made its decision. Authorities at the correctional institution were merely served with the order and they had to comply with,” Advocate Motiki said.

She said it seems at the time he escaped from prison Tlali was unaware that the court had granted him bail, “especially because, as I have said, I understand that it was not opposed from the beginning”.

There were no reasons at that time, she said, to oppose Tlali’s bail application because there was no indication that he was a fight risk.

“Under these circumstances, we had only two options: either to go back to the court that granted him bail to ask it to cancel it or to go to the magistrate’s court to oppose his application for bail on grounds that he has proved that he is a flight risk, in case he applies for bail in these two latest charges,” she said.

“We have opted to take the latter route.”

Tlali, 31, is accused of the murder of his girlfriend, Thato Pheko, on December 12.
Tlali allegedly beat Pheko so severely that she was admitted to Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital where she died a day later.

Majara Molupe

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