POLICE this week foiled a mission to rob two Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets in Maseru by a seven-man gang that included South Africans.
Maseru Urban District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola, told the Lesotho Times police became suspicious after spotting a Volkswagen Polo vehicle which had no registration plates on Sunday.
They tailed the car in the course of their nightly patrol duties.
He said they subsequently stopped and searched the car near the Police Training College in Maseru and found two 9mm pistols and some rounds of ammunition.
“Five men were arrested and we are still searching for two more who were posted at the outlets to keep a close eye on movements before the actual mission would be accomplished,” SSP Mapola said.
SSP Mapola also said they suspected the intended heist was planned possibly with the assistance of some employees of the fast food chain.
The five appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of contravening Section 3 (2) of the Internal Security Arms and Ammunition Act No. 17 of 1966 as amended. He said that two of the robbers were from Tembisa and Soweto in South African’s Gauteng province.
One of the unlicensed firearms was a silver C275 loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition and the other a Tanfolio with 13 rounds of ammunition.
Bereng Mothobi (34) of Lekhalaneng in Maseru and Sibusiso Mkhize (27) of Ivory Park in Johannesburg, South Africa were found guilty of the charges.
In mitigation, Mothobi asked for the court’s leniency as he said he had three small children to take care of and one of his parents was a street vendor.
Mkhize also begged for forgiveness, telling the court: “I have a small child. My child is in Johannesburg alone while I am here. I was trying to sell this gun.”
They were each sentenced to pay a fine of M2000 or two years imprisonment in default of payment. Both failed to pay the amounts.
The case was heard by Magistrate Mokhesi while Letseka Lerotholi appeared for the prosecution.