FOUR Lesotho nationals and a South African citizen who are alleged to be behind the murder of 16 patrons at a tarven in Orlando, South Africa on July 10 are expected to reappear in the Orlando Magistrate’s Court on October 18.
Sept. 29, 2022
3 min read
Four Lesotho nationals in SA court for Orlando shooting
Leader of Terene, Sarele 'Lehlanya' Sello
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This, was after the five men made their first appearance in the same court on Monday this week, following their arrest over the weekend.
Due to the sensitivity of the matter, Magistrate Anthony le Roux ordered the media not to release the identities of the five accused.
Two of the accused are popular famo musicians - one is from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape while the other is a Lesotho citizen.
The other three who are also from Lesotho allegedly reside in South Africa illegally.
Advocate Phindi Mjonondwane from the South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) told the court that the process of extraditing from Lesotho more suspects linked to the fatal shooting was underway.
“The investigating officers are working directly with the Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions. We do not at this stage want to confirm the number of suspects we want to extradite,” she said.
“Investigations are progressing quite well. We believe the suspects are part of a syndicate that wants to control illegal mining rights and electricity cable theft in South Africa. As the investigation progresses, we will be able to have more answers.”
The accused are provisionally charged with 19 counts of murder, multiple counts of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.
Sixteen of the murders occurred at the Mdlalose Tavern in Orlando with three additional murders reported at the Kliptown and Orlando police stations.
Adv Mjonondwane added: “Our investigations are not concluded. We will allow the process of investigations to unfold. We will be guided by the direction the investigations take.”
She could, however, not confirm whether or not the accused were among the five people whose identities had initially been released as suspects.
“There is an outstanding identity parade that must be conducted. For the protection of the five suspects who appeared in court, we will not confirm if they are the ones released by the police earlier,” she said.
On September 5, Gauteng police issued a warrant for the arrest of the leader of Famo movement, Terene - Sarele 'Lehlanya' Sello along with his four side-kicks, namely – Tšepiso Khooa Radebe, Thabang Ralikatara, Tšeliso Moleko, and Keletso Rabasotho.
SA media reports show that one of the five men arrested for the Mdlalose tavern shooting is affiliated with the Terene gang and allegedly gave police misleading information about the case to thwart investigations.
ABC leader, Nkaku Kabi
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SA Minister of Police, Bheki Cele
The man was allegedly also present during a meeting that the Terene leadership held with SA Police Minister, Bheki Cele on August 8 where the two parties are said to have discussed crimes allegedly committed by Lesotho nationals in SA.
After that meeting, the suspect is believed to have driven to the Maseru border in the company of South African police in order to help arrest other suspects who were believed to have been in Lesotho at the time.
Earlier this month, the leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Nkaku Kabi pleaded with the five men wanted in South Africa for the fatal tarven shooting to hand themselves over to the South African Police Service (SAPS). - LeNA
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