Notorious ‘gangster’ beaten to death

Notorious ‘gangster’ beaten to death

MASERU-NOTORIOUS prisoner, Teboho Ramorobi, was serving eight years for a spate of house breakings.
He was feared and loathed in equal measure.

But in a bizarre turn of events, Ramorobi was taken out of his cell by prison warders on April 15 for routine duties such as cutting firewood.
And while cutting the firewood, Ramorobi slithered out of the prison complex. The next time he was caught, he was in the act of raping an eight-year-old girl.

An angry mob in Likhutlong village in Butha-Buthe turned on Ramorobi and beat him mercilessly before handing over to the police.
He died the very same day.
This matter was the subject of fierce debate in Parliament this week.
An MP for the Alliance of Democrats (AD), Dr Mahali Phamotse, said Justice Minister Nqosa Mahao should shoulder the blame for what happened to Ramorobi.

She accused the minister of “incompetence”.
Dr Phamotse later told thepost that she knew Ramorobi as they come from the same area.
“He was a well-known gangster. It does not make sense why he was taken out to work with others away from the prison facilities which led to him escaping,” Dr Phamotse said.

She said everywhere in the world prison gangsters are regarded as high profile inmates and need attention every time.
“He was not supposed to have been let out of the prison. That is lack of administration and knowledge by the minister,” she said.
She alleged that Professor Mahao had promoted inexperienced warders at prisons.

“He promoted those who do not know their job at all,” she said.
“The guy fled for a day and he managed to commit awful crimes within that limited time he got.”
She said when she was Justice Minister she trained some prison warders to specialise in guarding dangerous prisoners like gangsters.
“Upon (Professor Mahao’s) arrival in office, he dispersed the entire group and promoted political loyalists of his choice,” she said.

Moreover, she said her vision was to have a group of prison warders with the necessary expertise to guard dangerous prisoners.
Dr Phamotse asked Professor Mahao an urgent question in parliament, seeking to know the events that led to Ramorobi’s death last week at the Butha-Buthe prison.
Professor Mahao said on April 15 the warders took prisoners out for routine work such as cutting firewood as usual.

He said while there Ramorobi escaped.
“He disappeared the whole day and was found the next day at Likhutlong,” Professor Mahao said.
He said Ramorobi was arrested by the Likhutlong community while sexually assaulting a girl.
“He ambushed the girls while they were collecting firewood and they raised an alarm to the villagers,” he said.

According to him, he was then severely beaten by the enraged community but the police came to fetch him back to the prison.
He said the prison warders suggested the man be taken to a hospital after which he was taken back to the prison at 4pm.
“At 7pm his cellmates (informed) the warders that he was severely sick and they brought a nurse who upon arrival confirmed him dead.”
He said the warders called the police.

He said his office then asked the Butha-Buthe police to produce a postmortem report so that the cause of death could be ascertained.
He also said his investigations had revealed that he was beaten by the community.

Nkheli Liphoto

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