Three bodies pulled from Mohale Dam

Three bodies pulled from Mohale Dam

MASERU – THE bodies of three men who were murdered and thrown in Mohale Dam were retrieved from the dam yesterday.
The recovery of the decomposing bodies comes two months after a team of Lesotho and South African police divers began searching for the bodies.
The gruesome discovery came after eight soldiers of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) were arrested in August in connection with the abduction of the trio.

The soldiers were later charged with three counts of murder and abduction.
The bodies are of Khothatso Makibinyane, a menial labourer at a construction site in South Africa, his uncle Paseka Pakela and Lekhoele Noko.
All of them were working at a construction site in South Africa.

Trouble for them began after they were suspected of having had a hand in the fatal shooting of a soldier at the Maseru Bridge in May.
Another soldier was injured in the shoot-out.
The soldiers, who were in plain clothes, had approached a group of young men and wanted to search them after they suspected that they were carrying unlicensed firearms.

Makibinyane and his uncle Pakela were members of a notorious famo music gang called Phula-Bobete (Eaters of boiled blood).
As the soldiers tried to disarm the gangsters, a gun-fight ensued.
It is said members of the famo group thought the soldiers were members of a rival gang.
Although Makibinyane and Pakela were part of the gang, there was no evidence that they took an active part in fighting the soldiers.
So, the police later released them without pressing any charges.

Even after they were released, some police officers said they still felt some soldiers were baying for revenge.
The police say they had to covertly move the suspects from the Hoohlo Police Station where they were kept to the Pitso Ground Station because they suspected that soldiers would attempt to seize them by force.

The police later moved the suspects from Pitso Ground Police Station to the Maseru Central Police after armed soldiers were seen walking close to the police station.After their release from police custody, Makibinyane and Pakela disappeared and were never seen alive again.
Their families lodged a habeas corpus case in the High Court and both the police and the army denied any knowledge of their whereabouts.
As for Noko, he was taken out of a bus he was travelling with his mother near Lekokoaneng on their way to their home in Leribe.
He was never seen again. The families are yet to identify the recovered bodies.

Staff Reporter

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