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Army boss sued for assault

THE Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) is facing a M150 000 lawsuit from a Mokhotlong villager who was assaulted by soldiers while carrying out his duties of stopping crime in the neighbourhood. Leoatle Letšela, who is the chairman of Mahokela Association in Ha-Lebopo, Mokhotlong district, says army boss Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela should pay him for the assault and humiliation.

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He said the court should order the LDF Commander to pay him M70 000 in compensation for the pain and suffering and a further M80 000 for humiliation.

Letšela told the Northern Region High Court in Tšifa-li-Mali that he was wrongfully assaulted by members of the LDF publicly in front of the Mokhotlong community.

The court heard that on September 22 last year at Ha-Lebopo in Mokhotlong district, Letšela was approached by soldiers who told him that they had information that he was illegally in possession of a gun.

“They demanded the firearm and I denied possession of such,” he said.

When he denied any knowledge of the gun, he was badly assaulted by the soldiers at the back of his body with sticks.

The court further heard that he was beaten until he sustained serious injuries at the back of his body.

Letšela said the assault occurred in full view of the members of the public and as chairperson of the committee that fights against crime in the village, he felt humiliated due to the actions subjected to him.

“I am the chairperson of the Mahokela Association called Ipopile Moremoholo and some of the members of the association witnessed when their chairperson was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and later assaulted,” he said.

He informed the court that he felt humiliated.

He said he lost his dignity in the eyes of the members of the public and the ordinary members of his association.

Meanwhile, in another case a Butha-Buthe man, Tlali Makara, claimed over M400 000 as damages for wrongful shooting which took place at his place.

Makara, who resides in Qalo, Butha-Buthe, on Tuesday approached the Northern Region High Court demanding a compensation of over M400 000 as damages.

He told the court that on August 14, 2021 he was wrongfully shot by one Malefetsane Taolane with an intention to cause him harm for no reason and as a result, he was seriously injured.

Makara said he had to be hospitalised for a long period.

He said due to the shooting, he sustained pain and shock hence he demands that sum of money.

’Malimpho Majoro

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