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Robbery victim in shock

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — Thakane Matsoai says she is still traumatised two weeks after armed robbers threatened to shoot her during a robbery at her sand distributing company in Maseru.

One of the robbers drew a pistol and ordered Matsoai to give him some money.

She complied and handed over M6 200 to one of the robbers.

The two robbers then fled.

The police later gave chase and arrested one of the robbers. He is still in police custody.

His accomplice was not so lucky and decided to end it all by shooting himself in the head to escape arrest as the police net closed in.

In an interview with the Lesotho Times this week, Matsoai said the robbery had left her extremely traumatised.

“I thought I was going to die. He pointed the gun straight at me. I looked into the barrel and was convinced it was over,” Matsoai said.

She however said she was not sorry at all that the robber later committed suicide.

“I feel no sympathy for the criminal who committed suicide. He mercilessly pointed a gun at me. Maybe if I had not given them money they could have killed me,” she said.

Matsoai is a cashier at Mechaling Transport and Plant Hire in Maseru.

“The younger one drew out a gun and pointed it at me. The eldest accomplice ordered me to give them money.

“I drew out M6 200 from the drawer and handed it over to him,” Matsoai said.

She said the robbers were not happy with the money and demanded more.

“He wanted more and told me so. But I told him that what I gave him was all I had.

“He did not seem content by the look in his eyes,” Matsoai said.

She said trouble started when the two men walked into the company’s premises posing as customers.

“They came into the office and enquired about the prices of both types of sand — fine and rough. I told them the price was the same, M480 for a load,” Matsoai said.

She said her sixth sense told her that something was wrong although she could not point out what it was.

“I did not feel comfortable even as I was talking to them. Just looking at them sent shivers down my spine,” she said.

She said immediately after that brief conversation, one of the robbers pulled a gun and pointed it at her.

“I was paralysed with fear,” Matsoai said.

She said she prayed that the robbers would just walk away after she had given them the money.

“The whole scene played itself out at the speed of lightning. But it seemed like forever because I was just so shaken,” said Matsoai.

Matsoai said the robbers ordered her to close her eyes before they fled.

“They ordered me to “sleep” before they left. I was sitting on a chair, at this desk.

“I closed my eyes, covered my eyes with my hands and faced down. I looked up for a brief second and they told me that they had ordered me to “sleep”. I did as I was told,” Matsoai said.

She said after the robbers left the company premises she rushed out and called out for help.

“My colleagues who were outside immediately gave chase and the suspects fled in the direction of Koalabata where the police caught up with them,” said Matsoai.

Senior Inspector Sebele, who heads Mabote police station, said the suspect was currently being held at Maseru Central Prison awaiting trial.

The suspect, who has been identified as Lehlohonolo Namame, 25, has already appeared in the Maseru magistrates’ court facing armed robbery charges.

“He has already appeared in the Maseru magistrates’ court and is set to re-appear in court on 6 October. His late accomplice was also from Sehlabeng (in Berea),” Sebele said.

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