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.