Four soldiers charged with murder

Four soldiers charged with murder

MASERU – FOUR soldiers appeared before the Mafeteng magistrate’s court yesterday charged with murder of three civilians.
Second Lieutenant Nyakane, Private Sebilo, Private Makoae and Private Tlakeli were arrested on Tuesday.
The crown alleges that in April 2012 the soldiers acted in concert to shoot and kill the three men when they were from a local bar in Ha-Motanyane village.

The fifth suspect is yet to be arrested, according to the police.
Initially, the police opened a docket in Mafeteng for investigating three counts of murder by five soldiers.
However, the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) authorities refused to cooperate with the police investigators which led to the probe taking five years.
The soldiers were responding to a report by others who were off-duty, who told them that armed civilians were in the bar.
The LDF failed to issue a warrant of arrest against the soldiers, who were members of the LDF Special Forces Unit, based at the Ha-Motanyane barracks.

The then legal adviser for the LDF, Bulane Sechele, who was then a colonel, told a SADC commission of inquiry in 2015 that the army would not hand over soldiers accused of crime to the police.
He said this was because the police had a reputation of torturing suspects.

Nkheli Liphoto

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