Mapesela in shooting spree

Mapesela in shooting spree

MASERU – DEFENCE Minister, Tefo Mapesela, went berserk yesterday afternoon as he emptied his gun into the air and waved it at villagers after a dispute over pastures in Khubetsoana.
Mapesela is alleged to have arrived in Masetlaokong, part of Khubetsoana village, fuming and firing his gun in the air after some herd-boys allegedly allowed their cattle to cross the Mohokare River into a farm owned by a white farmer in South Africa.
Mapesela is seen in a video, shared on social media, holding a stick in one hand and a gun in the other as he insulted some villagers.
The villagers said Mapesela jumped off his car and he fired shots in the air as he approached the young herd boys who looked terrified.

He was ordering the herd boys to drive their cattle back into South Africa where they had been illegally grazing.
“I heard the first gun shot while in my house,” said ’Matumelo Mokutu, who witnessed the drama.
“I dashed out only to find villagers gathered and brawling with a man who was brandishing a gun,” said Mokutu, who is also a village committee member.
At first the villagers were not aware who Mapesela was until they were alerted by a woman who could only identify herself as an All Basotho Convention (ABC) member.
“I could not believe it. He was hurling insults all over, to the young and old there was no difference,” she said.
Mapesela is alleged to have fired in the air several times before pointing his gun at some villagers who were also shouting back at him.

When the woman who claims to be an ABC member told him that it was wrong for him to be shooting around and insulting his voters, Mapesela’s anger seemed to intensify.
“I am not living off politics. My means of living does not come from prostitutes”.
“Imagine if I was there with my husband hearing him call me a prostitute for reprimanding him,” the woman said. “This was all out of hand for a man of his status.”
Another eyewitness said when the gun had run out of bullets Mapesala tried to strike two boys in the crowd with a stick. She said when villagers then started pelting Mapesela’s car with stones while hurling insults at him.
“We do not understand why he would come here and fight us when the field does not belong to him,” the eyewitness said.

Three witnesses said although they are aware that Mapesela owns a farm somewhere by the river boundary in South Africa they are certain the farm he was “screaming about” does not belong to him. The assistant to the chief of Khubetsoana, Ratšoane Matebele, said he received a call from his son informing him of the incidence.
Matebele said this is not the first time that Mapesela fought villagers of Masetlaokong over pastures or fields. Matebele said Mapesela later called him to narrate to him what had happened. “He told me that the villagers had started destroying his farm and he was not pleased by this and that they were also throwing stones at his car,” Matebele said.

Villagers said Mapesela’s last words to them he will come back and kill all cattle grazing in his field. Efforts to contact Mapesela were not successful last night.
This is not the first time that Mapesela has clashed with villagers. In December last year he rounded up people in a Kolonyama village with the help of the soldiers, and demanded compensation because their animals had grazed in his wheat field.

Those who could not pay were forced to surrender some cattle, in violation of the natural rules of justice. Under normal circumstances Mapesela should have reported the matter to the chief who would have decided on how much compensation he deserved.
In this case Mapesela was both the complainant and the judge.

Rose Moremoholo

Previous DCEO investigator suspended
Next All Basotho Crying (ABC)

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