Deadly revenge attack in Mapoteng

Deadly revenge attack in Mapoteng

BEREA – A murder suspect freed from custody on bail last Wednesday was killed two days later by the vengeful relatives of his victim.
Mokhoabo Sello, 25, had brutally killed a 51-year-old neighbor, Mohloabane Tsimatse, by stabbing him 26 times with a spear all over his body late last month.
Tsimatse was buried last Saturday, a day after the revenge killing of Sello.

Meanwhile, Sello’s brother named Sello Sello, is fighting for his life at Mapoteng’s Maluti Seventh Day Adventist Hospital after angry villagers shot him.
They also burnt to ashes four of his family’s houses, killed two dogs and a donkey.
Sello Sello, who was also revenging for the death of his brother Mokhoabo last Friday, attacked mourners at the night vigil with a gun and injured two people.
This harrowing incident happened in Mapoteng, about 80 kilometres north of Maseru, in a little rural village of Ha-Bose.

Sello brothers’ grandfather, Ntsoha Leche, told thepost that after Mokhoabo was held in custody for three weeks after he allegedly murdered Tsimatse late last month before being granted bail.
It is not clear how he was killed but it is believed that the angry relatives of his victim waylaid him near a river on Friday, a day in which Basotho customarily hold a night vigil before a burial.
According to Leche, Sello armed himself with a gun and proceeded to the Tsimatse family where a night vigil was underway.

‘‘Sello came straight home, took his gun and went to the neighbouring house of the late Tsimatse followed by his mother who was pleading with him not to do a stupid thing,” Leche says.
Leche says on arrival at the Tsimatse homestead, Sello started accusing the mourners of killing his brother.
“He started firing and some people who were around returned fire and he ran away,” he says.
The villagers burnt his four houses and killed the two dogs and the donkey.

‘‘Sello is now fighting for his life at Mapoteng hospital while his brother is at the mortuary,’’ says Leche, his voice shaking with emotion.
The rest of the family has now taken refuge in Maputsoe town for their safety.
The slain Tsimatse’s son, Mothule, says the two families have a history of conflict.

But what seemed to have angered the family was the manner in which Tsimate was murdered.
Mothule Tsimatse says on July 27 at around 7pm his father went to buy tobacco from a nearby shop and he found Mokhoabo present.
He says he was told that Mokhoabo immediately left the shop and did not come back.
‘‘It seems like he went to his home and took his spear and went back,” Mothule says.

“My father asked one of the residents he found in there to go home together as he was tired and he wanted to rest but he turned him down saying, no I am still enjoying my drink. He left alone.’’
He says there are witnesses who linked Mokhoabo to his father’s murder.
One is a village boy who says he met Mokhoabo who asked him if he had seen Tsimatse on the way, and Mokhoabo had a spear in his hand.

He also says a village girl heard Tsimatse’s calls when Mokhoabo was killing him and he was asking: “Koete, why are you killing me? What wrong have I done to you?”
Koete is Mokhoabo’s nickname, which is used more than his original name.
The girl who heard Tsimatse’s calls reported this to his father who together with his wife rushed there and found him lying down in a pool of blood and he told them that Mokhoabo had stabbed him with the spear.

They took him to hospital where he was declared dead.
They came back and reported to the village chief who called the police.
Mothule Tsimatse says Sello’s sons had been threatening to kill his father.
He says their gripe was that his father reported to the chief that their family had stolen a donkey.

He says the village search party found the donkey’s carcass in the Sello family’s compound, hidden under the leaves of grey agave.
It was Tsimatse’s dog that had brought the missing donkey’s bone home and he immediately investigated where it could have got it and found that it was in the Sello family’s compound.
He reported to the chief who immediately launched a search party.

This happened in April this year. ‘‘The search party walked around in the yard and found a dogs’ bowl full of blood and then they went down near the agaves and that was where they found a donkey’s head along with two fresh hides of goats,’’ he says.

Their mother was even arrested and spent several days in police custody before she was released on bail.
They were also accused of stealing a goat, Mothule says. He says after their mother’s release, his father passed near their home and Mokhoabo rushed to him, held him by the scruff of the neck, wrestled him to the ground and set the dogs on him. One villager who saw this intervened and took his father back home.

‘‘After all this, my father went to Mapoteng police and reported the case and informed them that his death would in the hands of Koete (Mokhoabo).’’
It is because of these reports that they allegedly went to his father and showed him bullets as a warning that one day they would shoot him to death.
He says the Sello family also complained that his father had built a house on a path that led to their home and they accused him of blocking their easy access to their home.
They now used other paths to get to their home.

Mothule says he was at home when he heard two gunshots behind his house last Friday.
“While still trying to figure out what was happening, I heard another gunshot beside the tent,” he says.
‘‘I and other people I was with immediately ran nearer to the kraal. After sometime, I came back and heard a cry from the house and I asked what was going on and two of my relatives were shot,” he says.

Although he did not specifically say he took part in the burning down of the Sello family’s homestead, he says “the people responded by burning down the houses”.
The village chief, Chief Mohohlonyane Bose, echoed what Tsematsi said in regard to the stolen donkey.
Also the chief says according to his observation, Mokhoabo was still angry that Tsimatse reported his suspicions that they had the carcass of a donkey that was reported missing.
Chief Bose says this is the first time an incident of this nature had happened.

‘‘I am very shocked and I am still wondering how a horrific thing like this could happen so fast,’’ he says.
He says to his knowledge, Tsimatse was a good man and he did not have any bad report about him.#

’Mapule Motsopa

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