Defence PS threatened with death

By Bongiwe Zihlangu and Keiso Mohloboli

MASERU — The Ministry of De­fence and National Security’s Principal Secretary (PS) David Sehloho has reportedly been threatened with death over his al­leged intention to serve army com­mander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, with a dismissal letter.

Reliable sources this week told the Lesotho Times that Sehlo­ho was reportedly phoned last Wednesday and warned against issuing the dismissal letter if he valued his life.

Sehloho yesterday confirmed re­ceiving the call as he drove home from work, adding that he imme­diately contacted the country’s three security agencies, namely the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) and National Security Service (NSS) about the warning.

The Lesotho Times understands security has since been reinforced around Sehloho’s residence, al­though the police and army have professed ignorance of both the death threat and added security.

Sehloho said: “On Wednesday last week, as I was driving home, I received a call from a mobile num­ber that starts with ’67’, and the caller threatened me that I would die if I served the LDF commander with a dismissal letter.

“The call was brief but the caller said he was aware that I was plan­ning to serve the LDF commander with such a letter and that I would die if I went ahead with the dis­missal.”
Asked if he was, indeed plan­ning to sack the army chief, Sehlo­ho said he had no idea where the “rumour” had emanated from as there had “never been any inten­tion to fire Kamoli”.

However, Sehloho said the “ru­mour” started last month soon af­ter his return from an official trip to Ethiopia, alongside Kamoli and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Molobeli Soulo.
“As far as I’m concerned, there has never been such a letter but the rumour intensified last week that I was indeed, planning to serve him with the letter,” Sehloho said.

“But I must categorically state that there has never been any in­tention to fire him.”
On the question of security at his home, Sehloho said he was not aware of any police officers guard­ing his residence. The PS, howev­er, said the officers posted around his area “must be executing a po­lice operation or deployed there secretly without my knowledge”.

He continued: “People sleep at night; we all sleep at night so we can’t say for sure what happens when we’re asleep.”

Police spokesperson Lebona Mohloboli yesterday declined to comment on the alleged threats and the strong police presence around Sehloho’s home, which the Lesotho Times has witnessed, say­ing “it is a security matter”.

“Police issues are solely for se­curity purposes and this one, in particular, is a security matter. I am therefore, not in a position to comment,” Mohloboli said.

Contacted for comment last night, the LDF spokesperson Ma­jor Ntlele Ntoi said he was not aware of Sehloho’s report to the LDF, adding that he had heard “from rumours” that the PS had received some threats.

“I don’t know about that one but only got to learn about it when we were conducting other investiga­tions,” Ntoi said.

Meanwhile, Sehloho’s alleged threat came two days after un­known gunmen attacked the homes of newly-appointed Police Commissioner Khothatso Tsooana and All Basotho Convention mem­ber, Liabiloe Ramoholi in Ha Abia and Moshoeshoe II, respectively.

Investigations into the two inci­dents are still underway and last Thursday, the LMPS called in South African Police Service foren­sic experts to assist in the probe.

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