Police and Public Safety Minister Monyane Moleleki has denied “rumours” that there was an attempt on his life two weeks ago resulting in one of his bodyguards being shot in the chest and stomach.
Speculation has been rife that unknown assailants tried to assassinate Mr Moleleki in Qeme on the outskirts of Maseru, but were repelled by his bodyguards.
But the minister dismissed the speculation yesterday and told the Lesotho Times he only tried to help the injured man after finding him critically injured at a local hospital.
“I can’t remember the exact date but it was two weeks ago when I was with my bodyguards at around 6 or 7 pm. We were using two cars and I was driving the vehicle leading the way to Ha Teko in Qeme.
“When we were in Matukeng heading to Ha Teko, there was a tractor pulling a trailer in front of the vehicle that was just ahead of us. The tractor and trailer didn’t have lights and the vehicle before me hit the tractor, resulting in a horrible, horrible accident. We were the closest people around so we attended the scene. We pulled out all the people who were trapped in that car and took them to Likotsi filter clinic but it was closed. We then rushed to Maseru Private Hospital where they were attended to,” Mr Moleleki said.
It was at the hospital that he met the man who had been shot and critically injured, the minister said.
“The man had been shot in the chest and was bleeding heavily. When the injured man saw me getting into the emergency room, he started shouting my name, asking me to help him.
“I went closer to find out what was happening and his wife introduced herself and gave me the story of what had happened to the guy, which I can’t tell you for security reasons.
“The doctors told me the man needed an operation which could only be done at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital. I requested for the necessary referral documents and volunteered to take him to the hospital.
“On the way to Tšepong, the man told me he didn’t go to that hospital straight because he feared his assailants might come and finish him off there. He said he was terrified and feared for his life. As the Minister of Police and Public Safety, I decided to ask the police to give him security, which they did. When we got to the hospital, I was literally giving the man support and helped him walk to the emergency room and I had blood all over. I think people thought I was also injured while in actual fact I was not.
“I made follow-ups on the man and I think that’s why there are these claims that the man was one of my bodyguards, and that there was an attempt on my life, which is not true. The guy is still fighting for his life in hospital and is still protected by the police but he was not my bodyguard because if he was, he would have been taken to Makoanyane Military Hospital because they are members of the Lesotho Defence Force,” Mr Moleleki said.