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Expedite probe into MP’s shooting, Molibeli urged

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

POLICE and Public Safety Minister ‘Mamoipone Senauoane has called on Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli to expedite investigations into the near-fatal shooting of Movement for Economic Change (MEC) legislator, Thabo Ramatla, a fortnight ago.

Mr Ramatla escaped death by a whisker when unknown gunmen pulled up at his business premises in Mafeteng and repeatedly shot at him on 13 June 2020. He was hospitalised with gunshot wounds to the head.

Even though he was shot in broad daylight, the culprits are yet to be caught and no arrests have been made so far. On Monday, a tearful Mr Ramatla made an emotional return to the National Assembly where he bemoaned the apparent police laxity in investigating his shooting.

He said it was sad that Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro had not checked up on him and that his own MEC had not reported the incident to the speaker of parliament, Sephiri Motanyane.

“I was shot in broad daylight between 9 and 10am,” Mr Ramatla said.

“However, it is baffling that a person of my status in His Majesty’s nation has not been checked upon by the Honourable Prime Minister after the incident.

“I am very disappointed that even your (Mr Motinyane’s) office was not informed about my shooting by anyone, especially my political party. I am therefore informing you now because this is the only platform where I can pour my heart out that a person of my status in Lesotho was shot and my shooting is not known and I am treated like a dog. I am hurting and this leaves me wondering what happens to ordinary people when us, their leaders, are treated this way.

“I would like to tell the Minister of Police (Ms Senauoane) that nothing has been done for me, Mahapu Thabo Ramatla, by the police. If justice is not served in this country, it will be served by God,” said Mr Ramatla.

The legislator’s impassioned plea was met with choruses of sympathy by fellow MPs from across the political divide.

Mr Motanyane also expressed sadness over Mr Ramatla’s shooting which he said had not been reported to him. He wished the legislator a speedy recovery.

On her part, Ms Senauoane said investigations were underway and she had organised a face-to-face meeting between Mr Ramatla and Commissioner Molibeli to further discuss the case. However, she did not say when the meeting would be held.

“The truth is that investigations were already underway even though progress has been slower than Ntate Ramatla would have wished. I have asked the police commissioner to personally handle the matter to expedite the investigations. I have also arranged a one on one meeting between him and the commissioner,” Ms Senauoane said.

Mr Ramatla’s mysterious shooting is one of many such unsolved shootings which have plagued the nation in recent years. Last October, 69-year-old Nkopane Mokhesi and his four grandchildren were gunned down by unknown gunmen in Ha Molungoa, Maseru.

Before then in September 2019, well-known former policeman, Makoae Moshoeshoe, was also gunned down in cold blood by an unknown gunman, just to mention but a few.

The police almost always do nothing in these shootings even if affected families plead with them to investigate. The Lesotho Times will carry a special report on this matter next week.

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