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Gunmen finish off man in hospital

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Nat Molomo

 MASERU — The fight started in a village in Thaba-Tseka but ended fatally on a hospital bed in Maseru.

The year 2005 was barely a week old when a weak Busang Rotheli was wheeled into Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

He had been transferred from Paray Hospital in Thaba-Tseka where he had been initially admitted with life-threatening stab and gunshot wounds.

He was in pain but after a few days he was getting better. But little did he know that his alleged attackers, Thabiso Kopano and Litaba Ramone, still wanted to “finish him off”. 

And on January 10, a few days after he had been admitted, Kopano and Ramone allegedly slithered into the hospital and headed for his bed in Ward Four.

They allegedly pumped three bullets into Rotheli, leaving him dead.

That’s the chilling testimony that ‘Mamothepane Rotheli, who was the deceased’s sister-in-law, told the court on Monday during the murder trial of Kopano and Ramone.

The two are charged with the murder of Rotheli and illegal possession of an unlicensed 9mm pistol gun.

They have however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The state alleges that the suspects first attacked Rotheli in Thaba-Tseka after accusing him of stealing a car he had earlier sold to Kopano.

They allegedly shot and stabbed him.

And when he was later transferred to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital they allegedly followed and killed him.

‘Mamothepane, who had come from Thaba-Tseka to Maseru to look after Rotheli, told the court that she witnessed the murder.

The murder happened around 6am, she said.

‘Mamothepane said on that fateful morning she had met Kopano and Ramone on the door as she was going to the toilet.

“I was not far away from Rotheli because I could still see him on his bed,” she said.

She said the two suspects were moving around the ward “like they were looking for someone and I was afraid because I knew they were the ones who had shot and stabbed Rotheli in Thaba-Tseka”.

Then she heard three gunshots.

“When I looked back I saw the two men running in different directions,” ‘Mamothepane said.

“Thabiso (Kopano) was running towards the toilets and Litaba was coming from behind me. I fell down and Litaba (Ramone) walked past me.”

“There was commotion in the ward,” she added. 

‘Mamothepane said when she came back with the nurse on duty they found that “they had finished off Rotheli”.

“Police showed me three bullet shells,” she said.

The accused are represented by Advocate Motene Rafoneke while Peleha Joala is appearing for the crown. The case is before Justice Kelello Guni and is continuing.

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