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Four Basotho up for attempted murder in SA


Staff Reporters

FOUR Lesotho nationals have appeared at the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court over the attempted murder of an unidentified man.

The four are also said to be undocumented immigrants who are illegally in South Africa. They are David Chaka (20), Lehlohonolo Matshepe (29), Molemo Mokgathi (23) and Lekau Bolae (21). All four were residing in Olievenhoutbosch, Pretoria.

In a statement, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Regional Spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, said the four brutally assaulted and stabbed their victim at Zakes Tavern in Olievenhoutbosch and left him for dead.

The incident happened three weeks ago.

“On 24 August 2022, the victim was at Zakes Tavern in Olievenhoutbosch when two of his female friends came by,” Ms Mahanjana said in her statement.

“One of the friends, who is Chaka’s girlfriend, took his phone and attempted to leave with it. When he (victim) realised that his phone was missing, he asked Chaka’s girlfriend to return it. Instead of giving it back, Chaka and his co-accused assaulted the victim. One of them stabbed the victim six times with a knife and they left.

“The victim was found by three men lying on the floor, bleeding and unconscious.  The three men took him to the police station. The officer on duty called for an ambulance and the victim was rushed to Kalafong Hospital. The four were arrested on 1 October 2022, after one of the female friends who were with the victim, pointed them out to the police. The matter has been remanded to 21 October 2022, for regional court allocation,” Ms Mahanjana said.

She said the four had initially indicated that they would apply for bail but they had since abandoned those plans. Therefore, they remain in custody awaiting trial.

The four are the latest in the ever growing list of Basotho who have been arrested for committing violent crimes in South Africa.

Famo gang leader, Sarele ‘Lehlanya’ Sello and four of his associates are wanted by the South African police for the murder of 16 patrons and the attempted murder of seven others at a Soweto tavern in July this year.

Besides Sello, the SAPS has also issued arrest warrants for Tšepiso Elliot Radebe, Thabang Radikatara, Tšeliso Moleko and Keletso Rabasotho, all Lesotho nationals.

In an interview with the Lesotho Times last month, Mr Sello had said he and his fellow gang members would surrender themselves to South African police and challenge all the charges preferred against them.

He had insisted they were innocent of the charges. Three weeks ago, the South African police said they had arrested two suspects in connection with the gruesome killings. Although they refused to release the names of the suspects, Mr Sello and his followers were not among those arrested. The South African police also said no one had given themselves up despite Mr Sello’s promises.

The Famo gang leader is now singing a different tune, saying he will not hand himself over because the South African police have got the real culprits. This is despite that no statement to that effect has been issued by the South African police. Sello and his followers are still in Lesotho and they even attended the All Basotho Convention (ABC) rally in Maseru on the eve of the 7 October elections. Analysts have blamed the ABC’s disastrous showing at the polls, where they failed to win a single constituency seat, to party leader, Nkaku Kabi’s close ties to the gangsters who are feared for their alleged crimes in Lesotho and South Africa.

Apart from Sello and his gang, 14 suspects, believed to be Basotho, have also been arrested in South Africa in connection with the horrific gang rape of eight women at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp.

Eight women, aged from 19 and 35, were filming a music video at an abandoned mine in West Village, Krugersdorp when they were allegedly accosted, robbed and raped by a gang of illegal miners, said to be Basotho, on 28 July 2022.




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