Woman weds dead boyfriend



MASERU – A respected elderly man of the cloth has landed in court for allegedly conniving with a widow to solemnise a marriage to her deceased husband. Pastor Lethoko James Jason of the African Church who is alleged to have officiated the marriage between a Lepereng woman and her deceased live-in boyfriend was this week released on bail of M400 by the Maseru Magistrate’s Court.

The case was heard on Tuesday before Magistrate Itumeleng Letsika, and is scheduled to resume on March 18. Jason is a 75-year-old resident of Sekoting, Ha Tšiu in Maseru.  The charges against Jason revolve around allegations of unlawfully and intentionally officiating the marriage between the deceased Mokhethi Khunonyane and his lover, ‘Mantsapo Leoma (’Mamoleboheng Mokhethi), both from Mathokoane, Lepereng in Maseru.

It is alleged that Jason was aware of Khunonyane’s death in 2022 when he conducted the marriage. Jason’s purported motive was to enable Leoma to inherit and claim the deceased’s family inheritance. During his court appearance, Jason defended his actions, stating that he officiated the marriage with the intention of facilitating Leoma’s inheritance of the deceased’s family assets.

On January 9, Leoma, 42, appeared alone before the same court as the first accused in the matter.  She faced charges of unlawfully and intentionally creating a Lesotho government document, specifically a marriage certificate, to unite her with her dead boyfriend. The case had to be adjourned to Tuesday this week, pending the addition of Pastor Jason as the second accused.

During her initial appearance in court, Leoma, a mother of three, explained that she supports her family as her husband has passed away. She has children aged 17, 13, and 5, with the younger two still attending school. Leoma relies on the income from renting a house left to her by her parents, earning approximately M500.

Considering Leoma’s circumstances and with no objection from the prosecution, the court granted her bail of M400.  The conditions of bail include non-interference with police investigations, no tampering with court witnesses, attending all remands, and standing trial until its conclusion.

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