Chief beaten to death
Chief ‘Mualle Mohale of Semonkong Ha Hlabathe allegedly died during a fight with one of his subjects last Sunday.
According to District Commissioner of Police Maseru – Rural, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, the alleged assailant, Tšepe Mothae (29), immediately handed himself to the police after the 50-year-old area chief collapsed during the bloody duel.
Senior Superintendent Kolo on Thursday told the Sunday Express that Mothae appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court two days after the fatal incident and was remanded out of custody due to the industrial action in the prison service which began in December last year over salaries. The suspect is expected back in the same court in two weeks’ time, Senior Superintendent Kolo added.
“Police investigations have revealed that there was tension between the now-deceased and the suspect for some time, although the source of the friction is yet to be established.
“On the day in question, the two met at around 7pm in Ha Hlabathe village, where they both lived, and started fighting using traditional sticks popularly known as ‘mabetlela’.
“Chief Mohale died during the combat and the suspect immedietly handed himself over to the police,” said Senior Superintendent Kolo.
“The suspect appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and was remanded out of custody because of the on-going go-slow within the Lesotho Correctional Service. He is expected back in court after two weeks.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Local Government Director of Chieftainship, ‘Mikia Molapo, on Friday said he was yet to receive a report of Chief Mohale’s death.
“I don’t have such a report as yet,” Chief Molapo said. “But if its’ true, then it’s very sad for a chief to be killed by his own subject.
“I would like to appeal to residents to be patient and listen to the advice of their traditional leaders, instead of resorting to violence to settle whatever disagreements there could be between them.”
According to Chief Molapo, tension between traditional leaders and their subjects usually arises from disagreements over the enforcement of regulations the residents might not be comfortable with.
“But like I said, the case has not been reported to my office, so we will have to wait to hear from the relevant authorities about it,” he said.
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