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Mohale Dam corpses search suspended


’Marafaele Mohloboli

SOUTH African experts engaged by the government of Lesotho to search for corpses of three men who were alleged dumped in the Mohale Dam have suspended operations their waters by members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) have suspended the search due to bad weather.

The three deceased men were arrested by police following a shooting that had ensued at Maseru border gate in May this year. The shooting incident claimed the lives of a soldier and a street vendor.

Two days after being interrogated by police, the trio namely, Lekhoele Noko, Molise Pakela and Khothatso Makibinyane, were released into the custody of their relatives but they never made it home as they were waylaid and abducted allegedly by army officers.

Investigations have since shown that the trio were strangled to death before they were thrown into Mohale Dam over the bridge between Ha Korporala and Ha Montši.

The search team, which also comprises of the Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS), began operations on Tuesday and ceased them on the same day, claiming they had to acclimatise before the actual search.

The operations failed to resume as planned on Thursday due to heavy rains and anticipated snow fall.

The Sunday Express has since learnt that on Friday the South Africans returned to their country and will only be coming back after being given a directive to do so. Their return also depends on improvements in the weather conditions.

Contacted for comment, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said “we are hopeful that should the weather permit, operations shall resume on Monday (tomorrow).

“The only reason that we called off the search is the bad weather and once the skies have cleared everything will resume.”

Nine soldiers have since been charged with the murder of the trio and they are currently on remand in custody.

The soldiers are Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi (43); Captain Mahlehle Moeletsi (50); Lance Corporal Mahlomola Makhoali (32); Private Nthatakane Motanyane (24); Brigadier Rapele Mphaki (47); Motšoane Machai (39); Liphapang Sefako (48); Nemase Faso (28) and Private Tikiso (28).

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