Two top soldiers arrested

Two top soldiers arrested

MASERU – THE Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) has arrested two senior officers in connection with the killing of Lieutenant General Khoantle Motsomotso. Army spokesperson Brigadier Ntlele Ntoi confirmed that Captain Nyakane and Captain Fonane are being held by the military police.
It is not clear if the police are involved yet.

thepost can also reveal that the army and the police have narrowed down the list of suspects in the death of Lt Gen Motsomotso to just less than two dozens of soldiers. thepost has also been told that the investigation could be broadened to include some officials in the national executive committees of several opposition parties.

The extent of the politicians’ involvement in the alleged plot is not clear but highly placed sources say the investigators are curious about a meeting allegedly held in Mokhotlong sometime in August.
The meeting — allegedly attended by some senior politicians from opposition parties — came days before the incident that led to the commander’s death.

The source said the net is closing in on the dozens of officers suspected to have allegedly conspired with Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi.
Brigadier Sechele and Colonel Hashatsi were killed by soldiers as they left the commander’s office.
The police and the army believe Brigadier Sechele and Colonel Hashatsi were part of a bigger group whose motive was to take over army command because they were unhappy that Lt Gen Motsomotso was about to hand them over the police as suspects in the 2015 killing of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao.
As part of SADC recommendations Lt Gen Motsomotso was also about to hand over several other soldiers suspected of various crimes that include murder, attempted murder and high treason. They suspect that their cohorts however chickened out on the last minute after the two were killed by soldiers.

Major Pitso Ramoepane appeared in the Maseru magistrate’s court last week for the alleged murder of Lt Gen Motsomotso.
It is not clear when Captain Nyakane and Captain Funane are expected to appear in court. It would appear that they are yet to be charged.
This paper has been told that more arrests, including that of senior officers, are expected this week.

“From what I have been told we suspect that there were just less than a two dozen officers involved,” said a source who refused to be named.
“Within the next few days there will be a clearer picture of their plan because more are going to be arrested.”
Meanwhile, a team of security chiefs from SADC is investigating how many guns and ammunition are missing from the Lesotho Defence Force’s armoury.

This is part of a SADC Troika mandate to assess the country’s security situation before they recommend how much support Lesotho will need in the form of a regional standby army. Lesotho initially asked for a battalion of between 300 and 400 soldiers which SADC said might not be adequate to deal with the security situation. Both Brigadier Sechele and Brigadier Hashatsi are set to be buried on Saturday but there is a standoff between the families and the government over their post-mortem.

Sources told this paper that the government had been battling to get a pathologist to conduct the post-mortem the families have demanded.
State pathologist Dr Moroosi is alleged to be reluctant to perform the autopsy.
Dr Moorosi told thepost that he could not conduct the post-mortem because he is out of the country.

This week the police tried to hire a South African pathologist who is said to have indicated that he can only come after six months.
Last night Colonel Hashatsi’s mother, Matsepo Hashatsi, said she will not bury her son without a post-mortem

Staff Reporter

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