Family ‘petrol bombed’

Family ‘petrol bombed’

MASERU – A 63-year-old woman and her family escaped death by a whisker after her house was bombed last Saturday.
Matholang Pitso, resident of Taung Ha Sephapo, is nursing an injury on her left leg after she jumped through a window to escape the attack on her seven-roomed house.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed the incident to thepost this week.
He said no arrests have been made so far as investigations continue.
Narrating her ordeal to thepost, Pitso said it was around 18:40 when they heard a knock on the door. The person claimed they wanted to charge their phone but Pitso refused to open the door.

Writhing in pain and speaking with a muffled voice, Pitso said she heard someone saying “let’s go, she has refused to open the door”.
Pitso said she peeped through the window and saw two men that she could not identify.
Then suddenly, the men broke a window and threw an item that she thinks was a petrol bomb, said Pitso.
She said she shoved her children to another room while she headed for another room to find a way out of the house that was being blanketed with flames.
She says she escaped through a window and crawled to her neighbours shouting for help while her children were huddled in one room of the house.
“I shouted out for help that my children were being burnt,” Pitso said.

A seasoned farmer who runs a piggery project in the area, Pitso said she is struggling to find a reason for the attack.
“I cannot even say why I was attacked because I also earn a small income from selling vegetables in the area,” she said.
Taung is one of the most poverty stricken areas in Lesotho where farming, the main source of livelihood, is made difficult by frequent droughts.
With neighbours coming to her rescue, Pitso said the attackers retreated while still firing shots.
They finally disappeared into the dark, she said.
“They drove off,” Pitso said.

Her sitting room, kitchen and dining room were completely burnt.
“My sofas were burnt to ashes,” Pitso said.
She said when the shooting ended her neighbours doused the flames using hose pipes to stop the fire from getting to next rooms while her children were successfully rescued out of the smoke-filled house. They did not suffer any injuries.
Pitso was not as lucky and had to be rushed to Mafeteng Hospital with a broken leg.
She said she is still filled with shock following the attack.

The Member of Parliament for Taung constituency Selemo Mangobe said fear has gripped the community.
People are asking: “Who is next?” he said.
Mangobe said most families in the area are headed by women and this poses a serious security threat.
He urged community members to reinforce their community forums and join hands with the police to help control escalating crime in the area.

Mangobe says Taung is generally plagued by rampant lawlessness where guns are used to commit crimes.
He said last year, the villages of Maralleng and Ha Moohlo were also set on fire.
“We never knew how the investigations ended. The cases were reported to the police,” Mangobe said.
Last Saturday, a 17- year-old girl was brutally murdered in the area, he said.
He said police investigations show that she was raped before being murdered.

Majara Molupe


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