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Lioli manager charged over alleged assault

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — Morija police have opened an assault case against Lioli communications and marketing manager Moeketsi Pitso.
Pitso is alleged to have attacked Likhopo team manager Qamako Mahao during their teams’ weekend Vodacom Soccer Spectacular quarterfinal tie in Matsieng. He is denying the charge.
“It is true that Mahao opened an assault case against Moeketsi Pitso on Saturday at around 7pm,” officer commanding Morija police, Inspector Motlatsi Ramanyaka, told the Lesotho Times.
Ramanyaka said according to the report, the fight started when Likhopo supporters allegedly urinated on the Lioli side of the pitch.
“According to the report, Likhopo officials — including Mahao — tried to discipline their supporters who would not listen,” said Ramanyaka, adding the report indicated Pitso hit Mahao with a bottle.
Ramanyaka said officers had gone to Maseru on Tuesday morning to pick-up Pitso and record his statement.
When a Lesotho Times crew visited Mahao on Tuesday, he had two stitched wounds — one  on his forehead and another behind the left ear.
Pitso did not suffer any visible injuries during the fight, according to reports.
“At this stage, I don’t want to talk about this issue because it is now in the hands of the police. All I can say is I will be opening a civil claim against this person once police have completed their investigations,” Mahao told this newspaper, declining a request to have his photo taken. 
But Pitso is denying ever assaulting Mahao, and is laying a counter-claim against Likhopo officials and players instead. In fact, Pitso is giving a completely different account of what took place during that fateful Saturday.
“I did not hit anyone during that fight. In fact, I was attacked by Mahao and Likhopo players,” Pitso said.
Pitso claims the brawl started when he went to investigate a report Likhopo supporters were sprinkling some muti by the Lioli goalposts.
“I received a report Likhopo were ‘planting’ some muti by the posts when our players were dressing for the match and went out to investigate. As Basotho, we believed that it was ke ntho tsa Sesotho (traditional medicine),” he said, insisting he then saw Likhopo fans “pouring something on the goalposts”.
Pitso claims to have been attacked after trying to get a closer look.
“I tried getting closer to see what the liquid was but I was pushed down and attacked,” he said.
Pitso said there was no possibility he could have assaulted Mahao.
“Akhona, tsela eo ba neng ba ntlhoele setha ka teng (Aah, the way they were all over me) I could not have assaulted him,” he said.
“If you look at Mahao, it appears he was hit by a bottle or something.”

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