MASERU – The family of a Maseru man who was shot and killed by armed police last month have accused the police of covering up the murder.
Sekete Moshoeshoe, who was wanted by the police in connection with several cases of armed robbery, was killed in Berea about 10km north-east of Maseru on 19 February.
The police said Moshoeshoe was shot and killed after he tried to resist arrest.
Moshoeshoe was buried at Ha Ts’iu on the outskirt of Maseru last Saturday.
Speaking during the burial last Saturday angry mourners said the police had used excessive force in dealing with the deceased.
Selei Moshoeshoe, a brother of the deceased, told mourners that four men had barged into his house at at Sehlabeng looking for Sekete on the fateful day.
The men, who claimed to be police officers, were driving a white Nissan truck.
The police ransacked the house in search of Moshoeshoe. Moshoeshoe was not at the house.
Moshoeshoe said he was shocked a few hours later to hear that his brother had been shot dead by the police.
“I found out that my brother had been killed by people claiming to be police officers,” Selei told mourners.
One of Sekete’s friends, Latolang Bereng, said whatever allegation the police had against his friend they no right to kill him.
“Sekete was not infallible. He did not deserve to be killed. He was a good man.
The police violated their own motto which says a policeman is a helper and a friend.
“I am hurt because they kill, they don’t arrest,” said Bereng
The deceased’s maternal uncle, Chaka Mokati, told mourners that Moshoeshoe was shot as he tried to hide in a wardrobe at a house where he was now staying in Berea.
The family said they were not happy that the police had told the media that Moshoeshoe had died in a shoot-out with the police.
Police spokesman Sergeant Mosoaboli Mohlomi said Moshoeshoe was wanted by the police in connection with several cases of armed robbery in Maseru.
He said Moshoeshoe was resisting arrest when he was confronted by the police.
“When they were about to arrest him the suspect produced a firearm and he resisted arrest,” Mohlomi said.
Mohlomi rejected charges that the police had used excessive force in dealing with the case.
“The police can use minimum force where required depending on the circumstances,” he said.