- police warn public against mob justice
TWO men were recently killed by members of the Mafeteng community in a case of mob justice after they and two others allegedly attacked and killed National Security Service officer, Masilo Molefe, a fortnight ago.
Mr Molefe was a senior NSS officer stationed in the neighbouring district of Mohale’s Hoek.
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli recently told the Sunday Express that members of the Mafeteng community pounced on the suspects “while they busy indulging in another robbery at one of the local businesses”.
“The suspects were caught by Mafeteng community and two of the men were killed by the community. One is now in police custody while another one is at large.”
Supt Mopeli however, warned against mob justice and said they would thoroughly investigate the matter and bring to book those who had killed the suspects.
“We do not encourage mob-justice and we are going to investigate the matter further. Anyone found to have had a hand in the suspects’ killing will be brought to justice,” Supt Mopeli said.
In another development, police are investigating a case of attempted murder after a 46 year old Koalabata man opened fire on his wife and her alleged boyfriend at Sebaboleng, Ha T?osane on Saturday night.
Supt Mopeli said the man shot at his 34 year-old wife and her lover after finding them sitting in their family car in a parking lot in Sebaboleng. Supt Mopeli said the duo sustained injuries as a result of the shooting. He said the suspect handed himself to the police soon afterwards and also surrendered his gun as well.
“The husband suspected that his wife was having an affair with the young man she was with on the night of the incident and it appears that he had some information about the affair and was already on the look-out for the wife’s suspicious movements.
“The suspect immediately handed himself in and also forfeited his 7.65mm pistol to the police after the shooting. He was released after giving his statement and investigations are ongoing. He still has to report to the police as and when needed,” Supt Mopeli said.
The murder of Mr Molefe and the attempted murder of the Koalabata woman and her alleged lover are the latest in the long line of killings and violent crimes which continue to plague the country.
A 69 year-old man, Nkopane Mokhesi, and his four grandchildren were were gunned down by unknown killers on the night of 24 October 2019 in Ha Molungoa.
Ha Molungoa is close to Rothe where five women were gunned down in another yet-to-be solved murder spree in July 2018.
Before that on 29 September 2019, ex-policeman, Makoae Moshoeshoe, was gunned down in Mantšebo, Maseru by some unknown gunmen who were said to be after two men working in the illegal mines in South Africa known as the Zama-Zama.
According to his widow, ’Maretšelisitsoe Moshoeshoe, the bullets that ended her husband’s life should have been for the two men who were given a lift along with him. She said the two men were targeted by the killers as part of the wars fought by illegal Basotho miners who operate in South Africa. Known as the Zama-Zama, the illegal miners often fight with fellow illegal miners from other countries and among themselves for whatever gold and other minerals they extract from their illicit activities. The killings often extend into Lesotho and target families as retribution.
Ms Moshoeshoe said the two men knew they were being hunted and probably felt safe around her husband because he had a reputation as a good policeman who was against the Zama-Zama killings.
Last year in July, five women were gunned down in Rothe by unknown gunmen who remain at large to this day.
Newly appointed Social Development Minister, Motlohi Maliehe, is worried by the murders and has called for the death sentence for perpetrators.
Mr Maliehe said the murderers had terrorised people and caused some residents of Rothe, Matsieng, Matelile and Ribaneng to flee their homes. He said such criminals should immediately be executed than sent to prison where taxpayers’ money was wasted on their welfare.