. . . as soldier kills wife, daughter before shooting himself
POLICE are investigating a case in which a Maseru-based army sergeant allegedly shot dead his wife and 11-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself.
Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said Sekhopha Maja (51) could have murdered his 40-year-old wife, ‘Malintle and his daughter, Lintle, before committing suicide on Friday in the Lesia part of the Thetsane suburb.
“On 18 December 2021, police received information from the now deceased’s neighbours that they had heard gunshots the night before,” Senior Supt Mopeli told the Lesotho Times this week.
“They (neighbours) suspected that all was not well as they had not seen anyone or noticed any movements at their neighbour’s place. Police went to the house and entered by breaking in. They found three bodies lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
“All three bodies had gunshot wounds and some pistol shells were discovered at the scene. It is suspected that the army officer shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself. Investigations are ongoing and we are yet to establish the cause of the killings. However, it is believed that the wife suspected her husband of an extra marital affair and had even found evidence of the alleged affair on his phone. This is said to have led to a heated confrontation between the two which culminated in the fatal shootings,” Senior Supt Mopeli said.
He appealed to couples to seek help whenever they experienced challenges in their relationships instead of resorting to violence and killings.
“We appeal to the public not to settle their differences by killing one another. There are many ways to resolve differences and these include seeking mediation from other people. Life must be cherished because we only live once.
“We also appeal to those with illegal guns to voluntarily hand them over to the police. This will help end or reduce the unnecessary killings,” Senior Supt Mopeli said.
The incident comes barely a month after a Qoaling, Maseru man, Thabang Machabe (33) shot dead his 27-year-old fiancée, ‘Mapalesa Chaka, before shooting himself. Both were buried last week.
Three months ago, one Police Constable (PC) Ramoabi of Butha-Buthe, shot and killed his married lover before turning the gun on himself.
The murders underline the violence and killings that continue to plague the country. These killings have helped catapult Lesotho to the dubious distinction of being Africa’s murder capital and sixth in the World Population Review’s global homicide rankings.
Even war-ravaged countries like South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq have less murders than Lesotho.
El Salvador is the murder capital of the world. Apart from El Salvador, only Honduras (2nd ranked), Venezuela (3rd), the Virgin Islands (4th) and Jamaica (5th) are ranked higher than Lesotho.