A 47-year-old Mazenod woman was repeatedly stabbed by a vicious thug as she refused to let go of her shoulder-bag in Maseru city at about midday yesterday.
The brazen attack took place near Mofumahali-oa-Tlholo Roman Catholic Church and left onlookers shell-shocked due to its brutality.
According to an onlooker who spoke to the Sunday Express on condition of anonymity, the victim was about to cross the road when the thug grabbed her purse and tried to wrench it off her shoulder.
However, the woman would not let go of the bag, prompting the now-desperate mugger to pull out a knife and savagely attack her repeatedly in the neck and shoulder.
The onlooker said: “The woman was about to cross the road from the Cathedral side when this wild-looking man lunged for her bag. He tried to rip it off her shoulder but she was having none of it.
“They started having a vicious struggle for the bag, and suddenly, the man pulled out a knife and started stabbing the woman in the neck and shoulder. The woman started to bleed and you could see that she was badly injured. She then let go of the bag, and the man ran away with it but by now, a mob had come to see what was going on.
“When the people realised what was happening, they went after the thief. The man realised that he could not get away from the mob and sought refuge inside a fish-and-chips takeaway opposite Pitso Ground marketplace.
“But the crowd stormed the shop, pulled the man out and started assaulting him while chanting that he should be killed for what he had done. He was saved from further punishment from the mob which was chanting that he should be killed.
“It was a terrifying experience—both the man’s attack on the woman and how the mob went for him as he sought refuge in the shop.
“The woman was rushed to Tšepong Hospital by well-wishers because she was bleeding heavily.”
Police spokesperson Clifford Molefe confirmed the attack and arrest of the man who is expected to appear in court tomorrow. Reports last night suggested the woman had died on her way to hospital but Inspector Molefe said he was not aware if she had succumbed to her injuries.
Senior Inspector Molefe said: “The woman comes from Ha Paki in Mazenod and the 32-year-old man is from Ha Makhakhe in Mafeteng district, but is currently residing in Ha Thetsane. I will not identify both the victim and the suspect because I don’t want to jeopardise police investigations.
“What I can say is that when the police arrived at the takeaway where the suspect was trying to hide, the people pursuing him were angrily shouting,‘re tlo mo bolaea’, which means we are going to kill him. The police then took the suspect to the police station and opened a case against him. The suspect will remain in police custody until investigations are complete and he is taken to court.”
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