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17 in court for murder

Tefo Tefo

MASERU — A group of 17 men from Ha-Mokobocho in Maseru rural appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court last Friday to answer a charge of killing a chief.

The men are accused of beating to death Chief Bofihla Nthapo of Ha-Nthapo village following a dispute over grazing land two weeks ago.

The prosecution said Nthapo and his subjects were not happy that the Ha-Mokobocho villagers were grazing their livestock on their pastures.

Chief Nthapo and his men then tried to impound the livestock triggering a fight between the villagers and the chief.

The fight later spilled to Ha-Nthapo village where the accused men assaulted Chief Nthapo until he died.

They are also facing a charge of arson after they allegedly set the chief’s house on fire.

“You are charged with arson in that on or about the 3rd day of January and at or near Ha-Nthapo in the district of Maseru each or all of you set fire to a house and thereby committed an offence,” the prosecution said.

The group is also accused of housebreaking and theft.

It is alleged that the men broke into Chief Nthapo’s shop and stole some groceries.

The court advised the suspects to apply for bail in the High Court because it did not have powers to hear bail applications for murder cases.

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