Four nabbed for cop’s murder

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

Four men have been arrested in connection with last week’s abduction and murder of a police officer in Ha Motlalepula, Mokhotlong.

Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said the officer, Sergeant Letšela, was on 8 August abducted by 10 men who are linked to one of the famo gangs.

“A gang of 10 men travelling in a twin cab waylaid Letšela on his way from hospital to his home at Mapholaneng around 7pm,” Snr Supt Mopeli said.

“He was travelling in the company of his 12-year-old son and others when he was dragged out of his car, insulted, kicked, tied up and thrown at the back of the van.

“After an alarm was raised, a police search party was formed and he was found dead in the wee hours of the following morning. His main artery at the back of the head had been slit. Seemingly he had been killed before he was thrown over the cliffs in the area,” Snr Supt Mopeli added.

Three weeks ago, another police officer in Leribe, was also murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen while another was killed last month at Ha Leqele, Maseru, also by unknown assailants.

The opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Youth League has slammed the government for failing to act against the spate of murders of police officers.

Addressing a press conference in Maseru this week, the LCD youth leader, Phetho Matla, said it was appalling to see politicians taking joy and comfort in growing their support base by embracing famo gangsters when they caused so much pain by killing innocent people.

“We have seen previous governments trying to unite and reconcile these famo gangs which have claimed so many innocent lives. But surprisingly the present regime is doing exactly the opposite of that. They are even failing to condemn the attacks and killings of police officers by these gangs as we saw in Mokhotlong, where Sergeant Letšela was murdered in cold blood.

“Day in and day out, police officers are being killed and the government is mum about it. Yet it is obvious that the criminals are hiding behind the cloak of political parties. The welfare of the public seems to have been cast aside now that politicians are enjoying being associated with these gangs,” said Mr Matla.

However, Communications, Science and Technology Minister, Samuel Rapapa, said it was “unfortunate” for anyone to accuse the government of silence and inaction in the face of the killings.

“This matter was reported to cabinet on Tuesday and a formal statement with clear directives on how this will be countered will be made soon. We detest and condemn these acts. We would also like the LCD youths to help us with information regarding these perpetrators if they so happen to know them,” Mr Rapapa said.

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