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Witness says he spied on Mahao

Former army boss the late Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao

June 4, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

A witness in the murder trial of former army boss Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao says he was part of a team of soldiers that was mandated to spy on the late commander.

Lance Corporal Mokete Halahala of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF)’s Special Forces told the High Court on Thursday that at the time, he was temporarily attached to the Military Intelligence (MI)

He said part of his duties was to find out as to who Mahao was meeting and when, adding that the job entailed tailing Mahao wherever he went to.

He told the court how he was part of a team of intelligence operatives who went on recce at Mahao’s Koalabata residence on the night of August 29, 2014.

Halahala said he was in the company of other soldiers including one Posholi along with the late Tefo Hashatsi and Bulane Sechele.

He said they had earlier been told by Lieutenant Hlehlisi that the police were going to give weapons to All Basotho Convention (ABC) youths which they would use to attack their Congress counterparts.

On the way to Mahao's home, he said they met a police vehicle and Hashatsi together with Sechele fired at it, but the car sped away.

The witness said when they arrived at Mahao’s residence, Hashatsi who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle fired at the gate while Sechele who was armed with a galil rifle shot dead the family dog.

Minutes later, he said Sechele jumped over the fence and started shooting at Mahao’s house and vehicles.
The court heard how the shooting which had lasted for a couple of minutes was interrupted by a phone call that Hashatsi had received.

They thereafter drove to the Police Headquarters where army personnel had taken control of the building, he also showed.

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The witness also narrated how they later attacked and captured several police stations in Maseru including the Maseru Charge Office, the Mabote Police Station and Pitso Ground Police Station.

He said during that operation, he heard over army radio that Mahao had taken command of the LDF from Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli.

The accused in the matter include Kamoli, Motsamai Fako, Motšoane Machae, Tšitso Ramoholi, Litekanyo Nyakane, Haleo Makara, Lekhooa Moepi, Marasi ’Moleli and Mohlalefi Seitlheko.

They face multiple charges including attempted murder, theft, obstruction of justice, damage to property, aggravated assault and risk of injury or death.
Most of these crimes allegedly occurred in Ha Lekete or Ha Ratjomose in Maseru on June 25, 2015 the day Mahao was killed execution style by his colleagues.

The case continues before Justice Charles Hungwe.

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