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Tycoons in nasty fallout

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — A local tycoon is suing his business partner for allegedly hiring four ex-soldiers to assassinate him.
In papers filed with the High Court on Tuesday, Lepota Sekola, 47, says Boloetsi Senti, his business partner, must pay him M2 million in damages for plotting to kill him.
Sekola and Senti are joint owners of an Excel Filling Station near Lake Side Hotel.
Sekola, a well-known public transport operator, is the managing director of the filling station.
Senti, who is also a public transport operator, is a director at the filling station.
In his court papers Sekola claims that on July 21 four men attacked the filling station.
He alleges that the four men who were driving in a vehicle with registration number AJ 010 attacked the filling station at around 04:45.
Sekola claims the car that was used in the attack belonged to Senti.
The four ex-soldiers Senti is alleged to have hired are Molefi Matsoso from Masianokeng, Kebitsamang Faltene from Abia, Monkoe Mahase from Naleli, and Lekula Pitso from Ha Buasono.
They are also named as defendants in Sekola’s lawsuit.
Sekola told the Lesotho Times that he had rushed to the filling station after he got a phone call from Phutheho Lebitsa, head of the security at the company.
He said Lebitsa told him that four men had attacked the filling station and disarmed the guard of his gun, a MAG .7 (Pump Action).
He said after unsuccessfully trying to get hold of Senti he rushed to the filling station.
“I got into my vehicle with two workers and went to the garage (filling station). On arrival I found four men armed with three 9 mm pistols and one MAG .7,” Sekola said.
“These people were travelling in a white Toyota Hilux Twin Cab AJ 010, and one of them had closed the entrance into the shop, while the other three were at the Standard Lesotho Bank ATM,” he added. “I, Ntate Mokhele, co-workers and some villagers attacked Monkoe Mahase, one of the defendants who was already in control of the entrance to the shop.”
Faltene, Pitso, and Matsoso were at the ATM, he added.
“They pointed a gun at me but with the help of villagers we overcame them and disarmed Mahase. Sekola said they then beat Mahase until he confessed that they had been sent by Senti to rob the filling station and kill him.
He alleged that as they pursued the other three men Mahase escaped and jumped into the gate-away car they were using which was parked at the traffic lights along Main North 1 road.
The vehicle took the direction towards the city centre.
Senti told the Lesotho Times yesterday that he could not comment because he did not know anything about the case.
In his court papers Sekola alleges that Mahase, Faltene, Pitso, and Matsoso “were ex-soldiers and people trained in warfare”.
He alleges that they had willingly agreed to carry the plot to kill him but they failed.
Sekola says because of the attack he suffered “shock, and fright”.
He is demanding M2 million for assault, attempted murder, shock and loss of dignity.
The attack, Sekola says, has disturbed his emotional security as well as “enjoyment of peace and freedom of movement”.
He also wants Senti and the four ex-soldiers to bear the cost of suit.
Sekola says he has since reported the matter to the police.
He however alleges that this is not the first time that Senti had plotted to kill him.
Sekola claims that prior to the attack Senti had hired the late famo artist Lebajoa “Selomo” Lephats’oe to assassinate him.
“Selomo then informed me of this plot to have me killed,” he said.
Sekola alleges they then agreed that Selomo would tape his conversations with Senti to gather proof that there was indeed a plot to kill him.
“Unfortunately Selomo died before he could give me that tape,” he says.
Senti refused to comment about the allegations and the lawsuit saying he had not received the court papers.
When this paper later tried to call him his phone was not available.

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