Mur­der most foul

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

THE com­mu­nity of Ntširele in Khu­bet­soana is griev­ing after one of its prom­i­nent mem­bers was bru­tally mur­dered by her live-in part­ner. The de­ceased’s her four month old grand-daugh­ter was se­ri­ously in­jured after be­ing sprayed with acid in one of the most grue­some cases of women and child abuse in Le­sotho.

Lebohang Nkuebe (41) has since ap­peared in court over the mur­der of his part­ner, prom­i­nent busi­ness­woman ‘Matha­bang Radi­ile (53).

Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Ad­vo­cate Tsi­etsi Hlaele said a sec­ond at­tempted mur­der charge has since been pre­ferred against Nkuebe.

The Radi­ile fam­ily had com­plained that only the mur­der charge had been raised against Nkuebe de­spite his grue­some tor­ture of the in­fant.

It is un­der­stood that Nkuebe con­fessed to stab­bing Ms Radi­ile mul­ti­ple times with a knife after ini­tially try­ing to deny any knowl­edge of what had hap­pened on the fate­ful day.

Nkuebe was at home with his part­ner around mid-morn­ing on the Novem­ber day of the mur­der. An ar­gu­ment is said to have en­sued dur­ing which Nkuebe drew a knife and stabbed Ms Radi­ile sev­eral times killing her on the spot.

Nkuebe then pro­ceeded to spray the four month old in­fant, Ms Radi­ile’s grand­daugh­ter, with acid caus­ing her se­vere life threat­en­ing in­juries. The in­fant’s mother was at work at the time of the in­ci­dent.

So se­ri­ously wounded was the in­fant that she faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture. She has un­der­gone surgery and is due for another op­er­a­tion to try and save her life. Staff at Queen Mamo­hato have tried all they can to as­sist the in­fant and the Radi­ile fam­ily is grate­ful for their ef­forts.

It is un­der­stood that after killing Ms Radi­ile, Nkuebe had stuffed a cloth into the in­fant’s mouth so that her cries could not be heard by neigh­bours and then dumped the in­fant on the floor in another room to cre­ate time for him to de­vise a scheme to cover up his mur­der of the tod­dler’s grand­mother.

Nkuebe then left the house to run his er­rands leav­ing Ms Radi­ile’s life­less body in a pool of blood in another room while the tor­tured in­fant lay for hours help­less with no one in the house. The in­fant’s mother was at work. Ap­par­ently, Nkuebe, who worked in Ms Radi­ile trans­porta­tion busi­ness, is un­der­stood to have gone to col­lect chil­dren from school and de­liv­ered them to their homes while the in­fant suf­fered on her own with her grand­mother al­ready mur­dered.

Ms Radi­ile was con­tracted by var­i­ous par­ents to col­lect their chil­dren from schools and de­liver them to their homes. Nkuebe as­sisted her part­ner in the busi­ness and reg­u­larly went to pick the chil­dren dur­ing late af­ter­noons.

Nkuebe ini­tially tried to claim that the mur­der had hap­pened while he was away col­lect­ing the chil­dren and tried to paint it as a rob­bery at­tack. Fam­ily mem­bers said his story did not add up be­cause noth­ing was stolen from the house.

Nkuebe sub­se­quently vol­un­teered in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice about how he mur­dered his lover and even showed them the weapon he used and the clothes he was wear­ing which he had tried to wash and hide.

Var­i­ous com­mu­nity mem­bers around Ntširele said they had been dumb­founded by the case and ex­pressed con­cern at the ever es­ca­lat­ing crime lev­els.

“How can any right think­ing per­son do such a thing to a mere four month old baby….. This man (Nkuebe) is not hu­man. He is a beast…he de­serves to be buried alive,” said Mo­hapi Lerotholi.

Other com­mu­nity mem­bers ex­pressed dis­gust that a man, who had con­fessed to such a heinous crime, could be shortly af­ter­wards be seen on the streets and in pubs as well as so­cial me­dia after be­ing granted bail.

“We have be­come a de­praved and soul­less so­ci­ety,” said, Nt­sekele Nt­sekelo, another Ntširele com­mu­nity mem­ber.

The po­lice han­dling the mat­ter could only say that in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter are near­ing com­ple­tion and promised to have the mat­ter pro­ceed to trial.

“We are only wait­ing for a post-mortem re­port from TY (Teya-teya­neng) where we per­form all post-mortems for both Maseru and Berea dis­tricts,” said Sergeant Kubutu Kubutu from Mabote Po­lice Sta­tion.

“We are also wait­ing for a med­i­cal re­port for the mi­nor child who was in­jured and these doc­u­ments will mark the com­ple­tion of our in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he said.

Asked why the po­lice had not op­posed Nkuebe’s bail ap­pli­ca­tion after he was charged with such heinous acts, Kubutu said: “We did not op­pose it (bail) be­cause we did not have valid grounds to op­pose it.”

This is de­spite that when Nkuebe first ap­peared in court on 20 Novem­ber 2017, the sec­ond charge had not been put on the charge sheet be­cause the po­lice said they wanted a med­i­cal re­port.

The Radi­ile fam­ily re­mains un­sure if the sec­ond charge has been pre­ferred against Nkuebe. All they know is that a cou­ple of weeks after the grue­some in­ci­dents, Nkuebe was back on the streets – mov­ing ahead with his life- and ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing on so­cial me­dia, ap­pear­ing more wor­ried about re­triev­ing the clothes he left in the house he used to share with Ms Radi­ile.

Ef­forts by the fam­ily to es­tab­lish the terms on which Nkuebe was granted bail have hit a brick wall.

Ad­vo­cate Hlaele said he only dealt with the case at Nkuebe’s first court ap­pear­ance on 20 Novem­ber 2017 and the bail is­sue was then dealt with at the High Court.

No one ever alerted the fam­ily about the bail pro­ceed­ings at the High Court de­spite their keen­ness to fol­low all pro­ceed­ings in­volv­ing the loss of their beloved mother.

Sergeant Kubutu said he did not know any of the bail con­di­tions de­spite be­ing the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer.

He how­ever, said the po­lice have learned that the in­jured in­fant was still at­tend­ing med­i­cal check-up ses­sions as her health was not yet sta­ble.

“We have learned that she is ex­pected to un­dergo some op­er­a­tion sched­uled for 2 Fe­bru­ary this year,” he added.

He said the case was still fresh yet the po­lice were al­ready in an ad­vanced stage of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions to get the mat­ter ready for pros­e­cu­tion.

Nkuebe is still at­tend­ing reg­u­lar re­mands be­fore the Mag­is­trate’s Court, he said.

Other com­mu­nity mem­bers ex­pressed dis­gust that a man, who had con­fessed to such a heinous crime, could be shortly af­ter­wards be seen on the streets and in pubs as well as so­cial me­dia after be­ing granted bail.

Se­verely wounded body of in­fant after acid at­tack

Mur­der sus­pect Lebohang Nkuebe

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