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Man killed in row over initiation song

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — A Berea man appeared before the High Court on Tuesday to answer a charge of murder.

Tlhalefo Sarele, 30, is alleged to have killed Rantsane Letsielo after he allegedly tried to stop him from singing an initiation song at a traditional feast.

The incident happened on December 1 last year at Ha-Tabola.

High Court judge Justice Kelello Guni heard this week that Sarele took offence when Letsielo tried to stop him from singing the song.

Crown witness, Rantsatsi Letsielo, told the court that on December 1 in Mosalemane Ha-Tabola traditional healers held a feast at ’Malineo Makateng’s home where they sang traditional songs in a tent at night.

Rantsatsi said he, Letsielo and two other men were outside the tent at around 3am when Sarele arrived singing a lengae, a song sung by boys graduating from initiation school.

A brawl ensured between Sarele and Letsielo after Letsielo objected to the lengae, saying it was improper to sing that song which was different from the one the healers were singing.

“The accused then grabbed the deceased by the neck and scolded him, telling him that he was silly,” Rantsatsi said.

He said a man who was part of the gathering, only identified as Kaiser, intervened in the row and asked what Letsielo had done to deserve “being grabbed by his blanket” by Sarele.

“The accused then challenged Kaiser to a fight. Kaiser then left to borrow a stick from a friend,” Rantsatsi said.

When he came back, Sarele had however left the compound.

“After an hour Sarele came back on horseback and came to where Kaiser, the deceased and others were,” Rantsatsi said.

“The accused, still on horseback, looked at the deceased in the face and pointed a gun at him,” he added.

Rantsatsi said immediately thereafter there was a gunshot and the deceased staggered into the tent and fell.

Rantsatsi said the deceased had a gunshot wound on the chest.

He added that it was clear that Sarele was the one who had pulled the trigger as there was moon light.

Rantsatsi said Sarele left the house immediately after the shooting.

Advocate Lerato Makholela is defending while Advocate M Ranthithi is prosecuting. The case continues.

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