Sol­dier re­manded in cus­tody over shoot­ing

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Keiso Mohloboli

ALESOTHO De­fence Force (LDF) of­fi­cer who re­cently shot and wounded a fel­low sol­dier at Ha Ratjo­mose Bar­racks on Thurs­day af­ter­noon has been re­manded in cus­tody af­ter ap­pear­ing in court on Fri­day.

Po­lice Spokesper­son Su­per­in­ten­dent Mpiti Mopeli said the of­fi­cer, who he only iden­ti­fied as Cor­po­ral See­lane, briefly ap­peared be­fore the Mag­is­trates’ Court on Fri­day and he was re­manded in cus­tody.

“Cor­po­ral See­lane was re­manded in cus­tody on Fri­day af­ter ap­pear­ing in court fol­low­ing the shoot­ing in­ci­dent at Ha Ratjo­mose Bar­racks where he shot Sergeant Ma­supha Ma­jara,” Supt Mopeli said yes­ter­day.

The 43 year-old Cor­po­ral See­lane shot his Sergeant Ma­jara on the shoul­der be­tween 1 and 2 pm on Thurs­day.

LDF Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer, Lieu­tenant Colonel Mashili Mashili, yes­ter­day told the Sun­day Ex­press that there were on­go­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the shoot­ing in­ci­dent.

“The two sol­diers had a quar­rel which re­sulted in a cor­po­ral shoot­ing a Sgt.

“I will not spec­ify what wounds were sus­tained by the Sgt be­cause I have not re­ceived a med­i­cal re­port to con­firm the claims but it is al­leged that he sus­tained three or four wounds on the shoul­der,” Lt-Col Mashili said.

“Im­me­di­ately af­ter the shoot­ing, the Cor­po­ral handed him­self over to the Mil­i­tary Po­lice and sub­mit­ted his per­sonal firearm, a 9mm pis­tol and its am­mu­ni­tion. The LDF Com­mand re­ported the in­ci­dent to Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice (LMPS) and the Cor­po­ral was handed over to the po­lice on the same day,” Lt-Col Mashili added.

He fur­ther said that Sergeant Ma­jara Sgt was ad­mit­ted to Queen ‘Mamo­hato Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal in Maseru and he was in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

How­ever, sources close to the mat­ter said that the duo had quar­relled be­fore the shoot­ing in­ci­dent. The quar­rel re­port­edly en­sured from Cor­po­ral See­lane’s re­fusal to salute Sgt Ma­supha who is his su­pe­rior in terms of rank. Cor­po­ral See­lane re­fused to salute Sgt Ma­supha on grounds that he (Cor­po­ral See­lane) had been in the army for a much longer pe­riod than Sgt Ma­supha.

“Cor­po­ral See­lane joined the LDF be­fore Sgt Ma­jara but the LDF Reg­u­la­tions are clear that it is a se­ri­ous of­fence for a ju­nior not to give com­pli­ments to a se­nior, a source said, adding, “This is a pun­ish­able of­fence and every LDF mem­ber knows that”.

“It doesn’t mat­ter whether the Cor­po­ral joined the LDF be­fore the Sergeant. Of­fi­cers can still be by­passed in terms of rank by those who joined the army af­ter them and this is some­thing that hap­pens all the time. It is not a mat­ter of age or how long one has been in the army. If one is a ju­nior, they should give mil­i­tary com­pli­ments to their se­niors,” another source added.

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