Soldiers charged with murder

Soldiers charged with murder

MASERU- NINE Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) soldiers appeared before the Mafeteng Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer a charge of murder.
According to the charge sheet read in court, the soldiers brutally murdered one of their own, Private Falimehang Sebehela at or near Matholeng Military Base in Mafeteng on November 5 last year.
In the second count, the soldiers are being charged for battering Private Khesuoe Khasipe and inflicting serious bodily injuries on him.
The accused are Sergeant Liau Jaase, 38, Sergeant Theko Sekhonyana, 41, Sergeant Mohapi Monoko, 45, Sergeant Moloi Retere, 42, Corporal Dingane Sephachana, 38, Corporal Manti Lipoli, 48, Lance Corporal Teboho Mosola, Lance Corporal Thabiso Tlebeng, 33 and Lance Corporal Khauhelo Makoae, 35.

They were all granted bail of M1 000 each. They will be back in court on September 19.
Sources close to the matter told thepost that Sebehela and Khasipe went out on a drinking spree at night without permission from their superiors.
A roll call was done and they were found to be out.

The following morning, the two soldiers were summoned by their superiors and were subjected to brutal punishment by their colleagues, the sources said.
“They were brutally assaulted with sticks and subjected to all sorts of torture,” the sources added.
A few days after the torture, Private Sebehela fell ill and could not eat properly.
He was then taken to Mafeteng Hospital and transferred to Makoanyane Military Hospital.

When his superiors realised Private Sebehela’s life was in danger, they rushed him to Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital where he later died.
Charges of torture and serious human rights violations were rampant within the army before the new Thomas Thabane-led coalition government took over power in June last year.
Since Thabane assumed power, at least 40 soldiers have been charged with various crimes ranging from murder to attempted murder.
Former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli has been in remand prison since August last year.

Lt Gen Kamoli has been charged with 14 counts of attempted murder in connection with the January 2014 simultaneous bombings of the Moshoeshoe II homes of First Lady Maesaiah Thabane and the Ha-Abia residence of former police commissioner Khothatso Tšooana.

Lt Gen Kamoli has been charged along with Major Pitso Ramoepane, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Sergeant Heqoa Malefane.
Lt Gen Kamoli has also been accused along with Captain Litekanyo Nyakane together with Lance Corporal Motloheloa Ntsane and Lance Corporal Leutsoa Motsieloa in the murder of Sub-Inspector Monaheng Ramahloko.

Captain Haleeo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Motsamai Fako, Corporal Marasi ’Moleli, Corporal Motšoane Machai, Corporal Mohlalefi Seitlheko and Corporal Tšitso Ramoholi have also been charged with the death of Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao.
The eight men are facing one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder of Mahao’s nephews, Mabilikoe Leuta and Mahao Mahao, when they ambushed Lt Gen Mahao in June 2015.
Brigadier Rapele Mphaki, Colonel Khutlang Mochesane, Mahanyane Phusumane, Nyatso Tšoeunyane and Maribe Nathane are accused of attempting to murder Lesotho Times editor Lloyd Mutungamiri.

Meanwhile, four soldiers appeared before the Mafeteng magistrate’s court yesterday charged with murder of three civilians.
The four are Captain Nyakane, Private Sebilo, Private Makoae and Private Tlakeli.
The crown alleges that in April 2012 the soldiers acted in concert to shoot and kill the three men when they were from a local bar in Ha-Motanyane village.
The fifth suspect is yet to be arrested, according to the police.
Major Pitso Ramoepane of the LDF has also appeared before the Maseru Magistrate Court charged with the murder of the Commander of the LDF Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo.

Majara Molupe

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