Thabane’s bodyguard shot dead in brawl

Thabane’s bodyguard shot dead in brawl

MASERU – PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane could be at risk and the threat to his safety is coming from within his own close security.
That is the stunning assessment from a senior official following the fatal shooting of one of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards.
The bodyguard died in hospital on Monday after he was involved in a shootout with a colleague on Sunday morning at Lepereng Ha Leqele.
Lesotho Defence Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mashidi Mashidi confirmed the incident.
He did not give the name of the deceased.

But Thabane’s press attaché Thabo Thakalekoala said the incident should act as a wake-up call to the Prime Minister, as the people charged with providing him with security might turn out to be the biggest threats to his life.
The behaviour of some of the 79-year-old’s bodyguards puts his life at risk, said Thakalekoala.
“The fact that the Prime Minister’s bodyguards were involved in such an incident is on its own unfortunate. It shows that he is not safe because one wonders if they won’t do the same thing while on duty,” he told thepost.

He said the bodyguard was shot after he attended a party on Saturday morning at Lithabaneng with off-duty colleagues in the Prime Minister’s Very Important Person (VIP) unit.
An altercation erupted on the way, followed by a bloody shootout when they returned to their homes from the party.
Thakalekoala said the Prime Minister’s bodyguards are expected to behave in a disciplined fashion at all times, even when off- duty.
“Will they not point a gun at the Prime Minister himself? Is our Prime Minister safe?” he asked.

He said the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) command is seized with the matter and thorough investigations are underway to establish if the bodyguards can still be trusted to handle the Prime Minister’s security.

He noted that anxiety is high following the shooting because there are many incidents in other countries worldwide where guards have killed their bosses.
“We cannot be happy if they do such things because they put the Prime Minister’s security at stake,” said Thakalekoala.
Thakalekoala warned members of the coalition government to stop posting items on social networks without confirming the authenticity of the information.
“We are aware that people who said the Prime Minister is at risk in Mokhotlong are members of the 4 by 4 (a colloquial reference to the coalition government which is made up of four parties),” he said.

He said those who post items about the Prime Minister on social media should consult the Government Secretary or him (Thakalekoala) for confirmation.
Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mashidi said the two army officers were taken to hospital together with one civilian.
He said the bodyguards were off-duty. Lt Col Mashidi said the military will only decide on the action to take after the completion of investigations.

Nkheli Liphoto

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