Gunmen storm ABC offices

Gunmen storm ABC offices

MASERU – SIX men clad in SWAT team attire and armed to the teeth stormed Metcash Complex, held security guards hostage and attempted to break into the All Basotho Convention (ABC) office on Tuesday.
A security guard who was on duty, Mashaoi Tanki, later told the High Court in an affidavit it was around 5:20 in the morning when six men entered the shopping complex housing the ABC offices.
“They were dressed in all black,” Tanki said.
“Their faces were covered with cloths, only their eyes were visible. They all had three guns each in their possession,” he said.

Tanki said they pointed guns at him and other guards and ordered them not to move.
He said they told them that they had not come to engage with them but to open the ABC offices.
He said one of the men used a bolt cutter to cut the heavy chain securing the office door.
They also tried to use a drilling machine to open the door but failed and eventually they abandoned the mission.
He said two of the men drove off while four remained guarding the guards.
“Whilst we were waiting, the new guards from our office were supposed to relieve us as a change of guard arrived,” he said.

“The new arrivals were not aware that the men in black were not from our company. (One of the new arrivals) requested them to make a report as a hand-over. It was at this time that the men in black also held him hostage as well.”
Tanki said he was released later and he managed to report the incident to his bosses.
A day earlier two warring factions of the ABC nearly exchanged fire outside the office complex after the leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, announced that he had expelled four committee members.
Drama started when a man believed to belong to the pro-Thabane faction tried to open the locked door.
A group of people alleged to be linked to deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao’s faction, hit him with fists and kicked him.

As he ran to where members of his faction were singing insulting Professor Mahao’s camp a woman in the crowd pulled out a gun.
As tensions rose the pro-Thabane camp started calling their opponents women who cannot fight. The Professor Mahao faction responded by calling them “panties whose brains are hidden in the groin”.
Secretary General Lebohang Hlaele arrived at the office flanked by heavily armed bodyguards.

Hlaele asked the man to remove their balaclavas and they complied.
He told them that they should remember that they have families.
He further told them that if one of them dies, former secretary general Ntsekele and Thabane would be happy at their homes with their children while theirs suffer.

Nkheli Liphoto

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