Two soldiers grilled

Two soldiers grilled

MASERU – POLICE have quizzed two soldiers in connection with the shooting and injuring of two members of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s VIP protection unit in 2015. The names of the soldiers have not been released pending their appearance in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court.
The injured men were the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF)’s Major Mojalefa Mosakeng and Lance Corporal Ngoliso Majara.

The police began interrogating the two suspects on Tuesday. They were also called in for questioning yesterday but were later released.
Police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said the two suspects reported themselves at the police headquarters when they were summoned.
It was not clear if the police were done with the interrogations last night.

Superintendent Mopeli said the duo is “helping the police with investigations”.
The shooting happened in February 2015 near the Royal Palace and the headquarters for the Ministry of Education.
A security guard for the Ministry of Education, Mohau Qobete, was killed during the shooting.

The shooting happened on a day Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party was holding an event at Setsoto Stadium and the army took positions along Tona-Kholo Road which Thabane was to use. The Prime Minister however diverted his route to get to Setsoto Stadium.
Major Mosakeng and L/Corporal Majara were assessing the route Thabane’s convoy should use on February 1, 2015.

On their way from the inspection, they noticed an army truck and a 4×4 twin cab parked near the Royal Palace, where Thabane would pass, and they advised the premier to use another route. The two bodyguards were then attacked by the soldiers. They then fled the country.

They were hospitalised for weeks in a Bloemfontein hospital following the incident. Major Mosakeng was shot on the arm while L/Corporal Majara had his right jaw shattered by a bullet. Part of his nose was also blown away.

Major Mosakeng underwent 10 operations to reconstruct his left arm, while L/Corporal Majara had reconstructive surgery on his face.
Six months earlier, Majara had facilitated Thabane’s dramatic escape from State House on August 29, 2014 when the army raided the residence and police stations in response to the sacking of the then army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

Tipping Thabane of the impending coup gave him time to flee to South Africa just before the army raided his official State House residence.
ABC youth league spokesman Mphonyane Lebesa said those who violated committed atrocities must face the wrath of the law.
He said just like any other citizen the two bodyguards and the killed security officer deserve justice.

“Only the king cannot be taken to court,” he said. Lebesa said the current government is committed to enforcing the rule of law.
“We congratulate them for taking action against the suspects,” he added.

He also said the newly appointed Commander, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, started with the right foot by handing over the suspects to the police without threats or complications. “This shows that the commander is doing things differently from the previous one,” Lebesa said.

Thooe Ramolibeli & Nkheli Liphoto

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