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Yet another shooting spree claims five lives

’Marafaele Mohloboli

A 69 year old Ha Molungoa man and his four grandchildren were recently gunned down by unknown killers in yet another incident which has added to the country’s growing list of brutal killings.

Ha Molungoa is close to Rothe where five women were gunned down in another yet-to-be solved murder spree in July 2018.

Police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, confirmed the murders which occurred in the night of 24 October 2019. He said the bodies were only discovered by neighbours the following morning. Supt Mopeli said the killers were still at large.

“A 69 year old man and his four grandchildren, three boys aged 16, 14, and nine and a girl aged 11 were all found dead in their house in the morning of 25 October. The neighbors heard gunshots on that fateful night before but did not go out to see where the gunshots came from as they feared for their lives. The shooting happened at around 10 pm” said Supt Mopeli.

He said it was not known whether the killings could be linked to the famo music gang rivalries where different famo factions often attacked each other and spawned revenge killings targeting innocent family members.

“This is not the first incident in the same area and until investigations have been made we can’t be sure what could have triggered the killings. We are not sure if the killings could be linked to famo rivalries or they were just family conflicts,” Supt Mopeli said.

Cold-blooded indiscriminate killings have become the order of the day in Lesotho and most of these murders remain unresolved.

On 29 September 2019, ex-policeman, Makoae Moshoeshoe, was gunned down in Mantšebo, Maseru by some unknown gunmen who were said to be after two men working in the illegal mines in South Africa known as the Zama-Zama.

According to his widow, ’Maretšelisitsoe Moshoeshoe, the bullets that ended her husband’s life should have been for the two men who were given a lift along with him. She said the two men were targeted by the killers as part of the wars fought by illegal Basotho miners who operate in South Africa. Known as the Zama-Zama, the illegal miners often fight with fellow illegal miners from other countries and among themselves for whatever gold and other minerals they extract from their illicit activities.  The killings often extend into Lesotho and target families as retribution.

Ms Moshoeshoe said the two men knew they were being hunted and probably felt safe around her husband because he had a reputation as a good policeman who was against the Zama-Zama killings.

Last year in July, five women were gunned down in Rothe by unknown gunmen who remain at large to this day.

Newly appointed Social Development Minister, Motlohi Maliehe, is worried by the murders and has called for the death sentence for perpetrators.

Mr Maliehe said the murderers had terrorised people and caused some residents of Rothe, Matsieng, Matelile and Ribaneng to flee their homes. He said such criminals should immediately be executed than sent to prison where taxpayers’ money was wasted on their welfare.



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