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Ntsie knocked down at bike race

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — Controversial cameraman Habofanoe Ntsie was knocked down and injured by a speeding motorbike while taking pictures at the Roof of Africa rally on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses said Ntsie —whose is facing murder charges — had crossed the safety barrier into the track to capture “better shots” when one of the 252 racing bikers knocked him down.

Ntsie tumbled on the tarred Kingsway Road and his camera landed metres away from him, an eyewitness said.

The rider, Charan Moore, flew into the air before landing with a huge thud a few metres from the cameraman, the witness added.

Moore, a rider from Lesotho who was competing on a Yamaha motorbike, pulled out of the race with an injured shoulder.

Organisers however told the Sunday Express the injury was not very serious.

Paramedics were on hand to treat Ntsie and Moore.

Another eyewitness said for a moment after being hit, Ntsie looked unconscious.

Roof of Africa’s Clint Riepper said Ntsie was taken to a hospital in South Africa.

Ntsie is said to have crossed the safety cordon at a time the bikers were just about to start racing.

“The whistle was blown for bikers to start racing and one of them hit him (Ntsie) and they both fell to the ground,” one of the witnesses said.

Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha confirmed the accident.

“The police only realised when some spectators screamed in horror that something wrong had happened,” Masupha said.

“When they went there they found (Ntsie) rolling on the ground in apparent pain.

“A motorcycle had knocked him down.”

Masupha however said he did not have more details on the accident because the police were not heavily involved with the rally’s security arrangements.

“The Roof of Africa tournament is treated differently from other sporting events in that the role of the police is very minimal hence the accident was dealt with by the tournament authorities,” he said.

“We have no official report of the accident as police.”

Efforts to contact Ntsie were not successful at the time of going to print last night.

Calls to his mobile and home numbers were not being answered.

Ntsie is currently facing two murder cases in the High Court for allegedly killing his neighbours, Souru Masupha and Habaka Mahao, in November 2004.

The killing happened at Lancers Gap in Ha-Tsosane.

During the hearing Ntsie told the trial judge, Justice ’Maseforo Mahase, that he had acted in self-defence as the two men had always wanted to kill him.

He told the court that he reported them to Mabote police several times.

Ntsie also told the court that a National Security Service officer gave him an AK47 assault rifle to protect himself after he reported that there were people who wanted to kill him.

Part of Ntsie’s defence was that Masupha and Mahao were conspiring with the police to kill him because he was investigating the murder of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s son, Maile Mosisili, who was found dead in March 2002.

Ntsie told the Sunday Express late last year that an international media organisation which he declined to name had assigned him to investigate the murder.

He has also recently had a brush with the law after he was charged with reckless driving and allegedly leaving an accident scene before the police arrived.

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