ENTERTAINMENT club, 4Fordy’s management has called on the nation to unite in the fight against the harassment of patrons.
The call comes in the wake of the Sunday night storming of the club on by unknown assailants who assaulted everyone in view, from the security guards at the gate, patrons to the top management.
This was the third reported incident of revelers being severely beaten at local clubs since last year.
The Lesotho Times also learnt that a soldier was stabbed on the hand during a fight which erupted at the club on Saturday night.
According to an eyewitness, the masked men arrived with guns and fighting sticks “and started beating up everybody who was in the yard which has only one entrance and exit point”.
“It was around 11pm while TshepzaDJ was on the decks (playing music). I was inside as it was cold outside when suddenly people came rushing in as though they were running away from something dangerous,” said the reveler who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Before I could figure out what was going on, men whose faces were covered with balaclavas and wearing blankets also came into the club and started beating up everybody including the staff.
“One lady fell to the floor but they continued beating her. So I threw myself on top of her to shield her even though I was afraid they would beat me to death with the big guns they were carrying.”
The reveler said the assailants had blocked the door so that patrons and staff could not escape without being whipped.
“As a result, some people hid in the ceiling but it could not carry their weights so it fell down bringing them back to the floor.
“I negotiated my way out with the intention to go and hide in my car only to find it was even worse there as revelers and security guards were being beaten up.
“I also got another beating before I could get to the car,” he said.
There was suspicion that the assailants could have been soldiers due to the similarity with last year’s incidents where large groups of men assaulted revelers at Litaleng and Setsoto clubs in retaliation for the beatings of soldiers.
However, Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) spokesperson Brigadier Ntlele Ntoi said the assailants were not soldiers.
“The LDF does not have any uniform similar to the one which is said to have been worn by the men who assaulted people in Khubetsoana so there is no way that they are members of the army,” Brigadier Ntoi said.
4Fordy management subsequently released a statement “calling on the nation to stand with us and focus on how this generational curse can be broken”.
“Let us be the change we want to see by stepping up to eradicate this harassment. For every action, there is a reaction so let’s react by standing up and forming an unshakeable solidarity that echoes that we are all Basotho.”
4Fordy management also appealed to victims of the “horrific incident to report to the nearest police stations, preferably the Mabote Police, as the area falls under their jurisdiction”.
The club promised to foot revelers’ medical bills but said this was not in any way an acceptance of culpability.
“This exercise is in no way an indication of taking responsibility for the tragedy, but a humane measure of appreciation of our affected customers who in this dark cloud hovering over us, did not tannish our brand.
“The 4fordy brand image says ‘We don’t do fans, we do friends and family, for the people by the people, if our patrons don’t win, we don’t win, alone you go fast together we go far, aspire’. It is from the above model that we always focus on,” 4fordy management added.
They also vowed to “unapologetically continue answering to the call of young Basotho who yearn to live and have fun in a law-driven country”.
Meanwhile, police spokesperson Senior Superintendent, Clifford Molefe said it was not possible at this stage to identify the perpetrators since no one had been arrested in connection with the incident.
“I can confirm that there are unknown men who arrived at 4Fordy and beat up people.
“It is similar to the two cases that happened last year. However, the police are still investigating the matter but no one has been arrested in relation to those crimes,” he said.