Quthing man up for gruesome murder of lover
THE NEW year has only just begun but it is the same old story of yet another violent and gruesome killing of a woman. This time, the alleged perpetrator is a 36-year-old Ha-Sekhobe, Quthing man, Ts’etiso ‘Matli.
He has been arrested by the police for the alleged murder of his 58-year-old partner from the same village.
The gruesome murder, which is said to have occurred on 2 January 2021, is the latest in a long series of violence and killings of Basotho women and children. The rampant killings have now catapulted Lesotho to the dubious distinction of being among the top ten countries with the highest levels of homicides in the world.
Due to a grossly incompetent police force and generally dysfunctional criminal justice system, perpetrators of the gruesome killings continue to enjoy a free reign to commit such murders without being held accountable.
Where they have been arrested, the courts have not moved fast enough to deliver justice, partly due to an equally incompetent prosecution service and lethargic judges. The apparent laxity of the entire criminal justice system continues to embolden criminals as evidenced by the latest gruesome Quthing murder.
A United Nations Global Study on Homicide puts Lesotho high up the rankings alongside countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Venezuela with high homicide rates.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said the Quthing killer had since appeared in court after his arrest on 5 January 2021 for the alleged murder of his lover.
Supt Mopeli would not be drawn into revealing the slain woman’s identity.
“On 2 January 2021, between the hours of 2am and 3am, the suspect beat up the now deceased woman until she died. The two were in a relationship and he suspected that the woman was engaging in affairs with other men,” Supt Mopeli said.
“Following his arrest on 5 January, the suspect appeared before the Quthing Magistrates’ Court on 6 January and he remains in custody. He will appear again before the same court on 22 January 2021,” Supt Mopeli said.
The gruesome murder is merely the latest in a long list of violence and killings of women and children which continue to tarnish Lesotho’s image as a country where a normal stable family life is possible.
Last July, the country reacted with shock and horror when a group of Leribe herdboys discovered the mutilated and dismembered body parts of a woman, ‘Makhutlang Lesekele (nee ‘Maleshoane Tukula), who had been murdered by her lover.
The month before, a female student at Lerotholi Polytechnic, Manyai Theoha, had been gang-raped and murdered in Thabong, Maseru.
Enraged by the horrific incident, the villagers took the law into their own hands the next day and killed two of the men suspected of raping and murdering the student.
Before that in July 2019, five women were gunned down in the middle of the night by unknown gunmen at Rothe, Maseru. It was reported that the gunmen moved from house-to-house, mowing down all they met in the night. By the following morning, at least five women had been shot dead, with another woman sustaining serious injuries.
The police said they had launched a manhunt for the gunmen but no arrests have been made to date.
In May 2018, a 35-year-old Roman Catholic priest allegedly gunned down a nun at the Maryland Mission in Leribe.
Sources said this could have been a crime of passion as the two were in a romantic relationship despite the Catholic church’s celibacy stipulations.
The sources said the nun, also aged 35, was shot dead allegedly because the priest could not stomach her attempts to end what was said to be an abusive relationship. In a clear illustration of the incompetence and hopelessness of Lesotho’s criminal justice system, the case has not been successfully prosecuted despite that it was a straight forward criminal act which did not require elaborate investigations.
Before that in January 2018, the Ntširele community in Khubetsoana, Maseru were shocked by the brutal murder of prominent businesswoman ‘Mathabang Radiile (53), allegedly by her live-in partner, Lebohang Nkuebe (41).
Ms Radiile’s four-month-old grand-daughter was seriously injured after being sprayed with acid in one of the most gruesome cases of women and child abuse in Lesotho.
Lebohang Nkuebe subsequently appeared in court over the murder and the case was abandoned by the police despite that he had confessed to the gruesome act.
Maseru man gets five years for abusing minor son
Meanwhile, Tello Kamolang, (25) of Nazareth, Maseru, was last week jailed for five years for greviously assaulting his minor son.
Supt Mopeli said after being found guilty by the Maseru Magistrates’ Court on 4 January 2021, Kamolang was given the option of paying a M10 000 fine.
He said Kamolang was jailed after failing to pay the fine.
“The police were alerted of the crime by hospital authorities who said they had a young male patient who had been badly injured by his father.
“We went to the hospital and found that the boy was indeed badly injured with large open wounds. Both parents were arrested as it was also the mother’s responsibility to report the matter to the police after the incident but she did not do so.
“The mother was also charged but the court only gave her a warning and released her,” Supt Mopeli said.