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Guard recalls tragic shooting

by Sunday Express
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firearmNat Molomo

MASERU — Murder accused Mahlomola Piet, a 35-year-old security guard, told the court how his late colleague, Thapelo Thoola, shot at Ralilochana Makoae, one of a group of herd boys who were pelting the guards with stones on that fateful day.

For his part, Piet told the court, he only shot in the air to scare off the stone throwing herd boys.

“I fired twice in the air to threaten them,” Piet said.

He said his colleague Thoola shot towards the herdboys and hit Ralilochana Makoae.

Piet described how he then saw two men falling on the road.

He is on trial in the High Court before Judge Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane and two assessors for killing Ralilochana Makoae on August 26, 2009 at Nonyana ea-Mpitsa, Qacha’s Nek.

Piet was initially charged along with Thoola, who has since died.

Piet told the court that on that fateful day, Thabiso Ntoko, one of his co-workers, came to him asking for help claiming that he had been assaulted by a group of herd boys near Nonyana-ea-Mpitsa bar.

Since Ntoko was already injured and bleeding, he asked him (Piet) to arrest his assailants.

Piet said they informed their boss, one Nkosi, who instructed them to assist Ntoko and he would be coming.

“We went together with Ntoko to look for the people who attacked him,” Piet said.

His intention, he said, was to arrest them (the herd boys).

“When we got closer to where they were, they pelted us with stones and we tried to flee,” he said.

Piet testified that upon his arrival at the scene Thoola told the injured Ntoko to go to hospital.

Piet then proceeded to bar in the company of Thoola.

By the time they reached the bar, he said, patrons were already leaving since the bar was about to close.

He told the court that when Thoola tried to talk to the herd-boys, they refused and instead challenged them to a fight.

The herd boys told them they should fight because they knew that their guns were malfunctioning, he told the court.

That is when he fired twice while Thoola fired three times.

Nkosi later arrived and took them to the police station for statements. The pair appeared in court seven days later.

Under cross-examination by the crown counsel Advocate L Mofelikoane, Piet said they had tried and failed to arrest the deceased and his colleagues.

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