Army boss’ guards arrested

Army boss’ guards arrested

MASERU – SEVEN soldiers guarding army commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela’s home in Ha-Mabote have been arrested by the Military Police for neglecting their duty. The soldiers were arrested on Monday after they allegedly failed to respond to a break-in at a house next to Lt Gen Letsoela’s residence on Sunday. It is alleged that the soldiers were alerted to the burglary but did not respond. Sources said neighbours who witnessed the incident called Lt. General Letsoela who instructed the military police to attend the scene.

The soldiers were arrested on Monday and detained at Makoanyane Barracks. They were released yesterday after two days of interrogation. The army says the soldiers will face a court martial for failing to protect property and stop a crime. They are also likely to be charged for failing to report a crime. Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mashili Mashili confirmed the arrests last night. “It is an offence in the eyes of the law for army officers to fail to protect the property,”

Lt Col Mashili said. He said it is the “constitutional responsibility of all soldiers as individuals and as the army to protect the nation and its property”. Lt. Col. Mashili also confirmed that the army had been told that the soldiers were tipped off when the crime was happening but did not respond. Lt. Col. Mashili said the soldiers “failed to act in accordance with the Lesotho Defence Force Act which states that it is the duty of army officers to prevent crime wherever they are.” In March a guard at Lt. General Letsoela’ house was shot and wounded by unknown assailants who are still at large.
The army and the police are still investigating the incident but security at the commander’s house has been beefed up.

Majara Molupe

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