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Man accused of murder

Nat Molomo

MASERU — A Thaba-Tseka man appeared in the High Court on Tuesday to answer a charge of murder.
Ts’oeu Kobeli is being charged with the murder of Mapoho Lillane on November 28, 2004.
A witness, Naleli Lira, told High Court judge, Justice ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane, that he found Lillane’s body under a tree with severe head injuries.
The deceased was a headman at Senqunyane Ha Ralillane in Thaba-Tseka district.
Kobeli pleaded not guilty before Justice Hlajoane and two assessors.
Lira told the High Court that on November 27, 2004, he together with Lillane and other villagers were drinking traditional beer at his house.
He said Kobeli had during the drinking session threatened to kill him and the chief after the latter had sent him with letters to summon him to the local court following some dispute.
The reason for the summonses was not revealed in court.
Lira however told the High Court that Kobeli had not taken kindly to the summonses.
The witness told the court that Kobeli, who was in the company of another man identified as Sekonyela, told him that he, together with the chief, deserved to be killed over the letters he had sent him.
Lira testified that around sunset Lillane left to go home. He was accompanied by two men identified as Tota and Molefi.
The witness said after the chief, Molefi and Tota left his place on Sunday November 27, he did not know when they parted company.
However, on the following morning when he was going to work at Ha Nthapo he found a broken bottle which contained some beer.
“After seeing a broken bottle I saw a blanket hung on the bush and shoes were near the blanket. It was the same blanket that the deceased was putting on,” Lira said.
“When I looked around from a distance I saw his corpse under the tree with head injuries,” he said.
Lira told the court that the chief’s relations with the two men he left with were cordial adding there was no way they could have endangered his life.
The trial continues.

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