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Villagers hand over illegal guns to police

by Lesotho Times
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MOKHOTLONG — Villagers in Lipohong in Mokhotlong last Friday handed in nine illegal firearms as the police stepped up efforts to clear illegal firearms.

Police spokesman Masupha Masupha said the villagers were told to hand in their illegal weapons in exchange for immunity from arrest.

“The villagers were asked to hand-in illegal fire arms that they had in their homes.

“Police promised that they would not be arrested unless the fire arms were involved in criminal offences,” Masupha said.

He said nine firearms were handed in by men aged between 20 and 73. A woman had also handed in her weapon claiming the gun belonged to her husband who was not at home.

Masupha said the villagers claimed they had received the guns in exchange for bags of dagga.

He said there had been several cases of armed robbery and stock theft that had been reported in the district.

In Ha Mokoroabe in Mafeteng, a 36-year-old woman was found dead in her home last Thursday.

The police said the woman had visited her neighbour the previous day.

“The villagers together with their chief went to the woman’s house and broke the window to get inside,” Masupha said.

He said the woman was found naked and had been raped. Police said they were investigating two cases of rape and murder.

In Lower Thamae in Maseru, a 33-year-old woman was raped last Thursday.

The villagers however managed to arrest the suspect before he could flee, the police said.

“With the help of Lower Thamae villagers the suspect is in police custody,” Masupha said.

He said police investigations into the case were continuing.

In a separate case in Maseru, a 77-year-old woman was allegedly raped in her home last Thursday.

According to police, the woman was sleeping alone when the suspect broke into the house and raped her.

“It was reported that it was around 8.30pm when the suspect broke into the old woman’s home and raped her,” Masupha said.

He said the suspect threatened to kill the woman if she screamed.

The suspect disappeared after the incident and police were investigating the case.

Also in Maseru, a 14-year-old boy was allegedly beaten to death last week by his guardian for “misplacing some keys”.

The guardian, who was not named, beat up the teenager with a lebetlela stick.

Masupha said the boy’s body was found with bruises all over the body. He also sustained open wounds on his head.

“It was reported that the boy did not put the key where his guardian normally put it and that sparked his anger,” Masupha said.

“The suspect was arrested immediately and the weapon he used to hit the boy was taken by the police and will be used as an exhibit in court,” he said.

Police investigations on the case were continuing, Masupha said.

In Quthing, a 31-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a taxi driver last Thursday.

Masupha said the woman was offered a ride to go to a nearby village by the suspect.

“When going back to the woman’s village the man asked the woman to pay him back with sex,” Masupha said.

He said the man raped the woman and fled from the scene. Police investigations were continuing.

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