Soldiers go berserk

Soldiers go berserk

MASERU-A group of soldiers allegedly shot and killed a Peka man they accused of disarming and beating their colleague on Saturday night.
The incident happened in Peka’s Ha-Leburu village. The villagers say they are now living in fear.

Councillor Ratselane Molefetsane told thepost that trouble started at a local bar after a soldier had an argument with three men. Molefetsane said the three men then beat the soldier and took his gun.
He said some time later a group of soldiers descended on the bar, looking for the three men who had however fled.

“They tailed them (the men) and found one at one home. They killed him,’’ Molefetsane said.
He said on Sunday morning the army came in a helicopter to look for the other two men.
“The second one was found hiding in a mountain,” Molefetsane said, adding that the incident has left the villagers shocked.

The soldiers could not find the third man.
On Tuesday a delegation from the army visited the area and had a meeting with the villagers.
Molefetsane however said he didn’t know what was discussed because he was at a council meeting.

Tello Kibane, the Peka MP, said he was informed that the fracas started when a soldier wanted to search the three men. Kibane said the three men then beat the soldier and took his gun.
He said at some point the three men called a policeman to tell him about the incident. The policeman, Kibane said, advised the men to take the gun to the police but they refused, saying they feared for their lives.
Kibane said the soldiers found one of the men hiding at a nearby house and shot him dead.

“He died right on the spot. This is all l can say,’’ he said.
The army is however telling a totally different story.
Army spokesperson, Captain Sakeng Lekola, said they were responding to a tip-off about a gang that was threatening people with guns and knives.
“One soldier was deployed first to suppress the situation,’’ Capt Lekola said.
He said the soldier failed to contain the situation and called for back-up.

Captain Lekola said the men wounded the soldier and confiscated his rifle.
He said one of the men was “unfortunately killed when the soldiers were trying to control the situation.”
He said investigations are still continuing.

Majara Molupe

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