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Soldiers nabbed over Chinese doctor’s murder

  • Dr Cheng was killed for a measly M5400,
  • LDF command urges restraint among Chinese community after “barbaric, heinous murder”.

’Marafaele Mohloboli

TWO Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) officers are among five suspects who have been arrested in connection with the 15 September 2020 murder of a Chinese medical doctor in Mafeteng.

The army and police have confirmed the arrest of the duo, both aged 26, along with three other suspects who include a 24-year-old female student at the Lerotholi Polytechnic.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli identified the slain doctor as 53-year-old Tianshen Chen.

Supt Mopeli said apart from the LDF duo who are both based in Mafeteng, they had also arrested two men aged 24 and 35 and a 24-year-old female who is a student at the Lerotholi Polytechnic.

Police investigations have revealed that Mr Chen was killed for a paltry M5400 which was shared among the five suspects and two others who are still at large.

Supt Mopeli said the incident occurred shortly after Dr Chen had closed shop for the day. He said he was still in office preparing to go home when two men and a woman knocked and pleaded for assistance. They claimed they had a critical patient who urgently needed medical attention. He did not say whether the two soldiers were the ones who entered Dr Chen’s business premises along with their female accomplice.

“Once inside the consultation room, the trio started to show their true colors and stabbed the doctor, while ransacking the place for money,” Supt Mopeli said.

“They only found M5400 which they took before fleeing the crime scene. We believe the suspects shared the M5400 they looted from the surgery.

“Sadly, they had been supplied with information by one of Chen’s employees which enabled them to commit the crime. The employee is one of those who have been arrested while two other suspects are still at large.

“We have also seized a 9mm pistol whose serial number had been erased. The suspects who include the LDF officers will appear in court as soon as the investigations have been completed,” Supt Mopeli added.

Meanwhile, the LDF has confirmed the arrest of its members for what it described as a barbaric and heinous murder.

“The Lesotho Defence Force public affairs office (LDF) hereby informs the Basotho nation about the arrest of two LFD members who are suspected of killing the Chinese businessman in Mafeteng,” LDF spokesperson Brigadier Ntlele Ntoi said in a statement to the Sunday Express.

“Following the heinous incident in which the Chinese national was murdered in cold blood, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) embarked on investigations which ultimately pointed to the members of the LDF. Once the investigation report was tabled before the LDF command, haste measures were taken to apprehend the suspects and the military police handed them over to the LMPs.

“The LDF command pledges to assist the LMPS in every possible way with the ongoing investigations in regard to this unfortunate incident. The command further wishes to see the perpetrators of this barbaric act of criminality apprehended and hauled before the courts of law for the successful dispensation of justice.

“The LDF command urges the Basotho nation to calm down, more especially the Chinese business community living in Lesotho… The LDF command, officers and rank and file unreservedly regrets this heinous murder and others of that nature,” Brig Ntoi said.

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