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Lesotho police officers arrested in SA 

by Lesotho Times
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Hopolang Mokhopi 

THREE Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) officers, who were arrested in South Africa last week were on a trial for cattle which had been stolen from Mafeteng, the Lesotho Times has learned. 

LMPS spokesperson, Senior Inspector Kabelo Halahala, said the three officers had been arrested “in their line of duty” but were released the following day. 

The Mangaung Metro Police’s Corporate Communications and Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane, had told this publication that they had arrested five Basotho, including the three police officers, for being in South Africa illegally. 

They were slapped with further charges of possession of unlicensed firearms as well as “aiding and abetting transportation of illegal immigrants”. 

The police officers are Detective Sergeant Bokang Phekoli (36), Sergeant Mashiea Senaba (52), and Sergeant Pakiso Ntsoele (40). 

They had been travelling in a marked LMPS vehicle with ‘Marelebeletse Bernadiana Tlaitlai (31) and Khosana Tṧotetsi (39). 

They appeared before a South African court on 15 March 2024 but were released immediately after South Africa’s National Prosecution Authority (NPA) saw no prospects of success in prosecuting them, Lt-Col Covane said. 

SSP Halahala said Mr Tṧotetsi and Ms Tlaitlai from Ketane had reported their cattle stolen and therefore the three officers left for Wepener together with them in pursuit of the said cattle and the thieves. They had not however taken the documentation for their firearms, SSP Halahala said. 

He said they usually crossed the border without producing any passports when dealing with stock theft cases, the same way their South African counterparts crossed into Lesotho when trailing stolen livestock. 

“Unfortunately, the Lesotho policemen encountered a roadblock manned by South African police officers who were not alive to the arrangement as it was explained they were from Cape Town. Our officers tried to explain that they usually work like this in times of emergencies, but they didn’t buy their story and locked them up in their cells. 

“However, they were released the following day after the issue was clarified,” SSP Halahala said.  

 

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