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SA police hunt killers of three Basotho near Caledonspoort

NDUMISO MLILO

JOHANNESBURG – The South African police are investigating the murder of three Lesotho nationals near the Caledoonspoort port of entry last Thursday by unknown people.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in the Free State, Brigadier (Brig) Motantsi Makhele, said the three bodies were discovered near Joel farm in Fouriesburg.

He stated that the corpses were found by a farm employee who alerted his employer and the police. The police said they found the two of the bodies at the farm, which is near Caledonspoort port of entry, and the third body in a nearby river.

Brig Makhele said “Knobkerries suspected to have been used to kill victims were recovered from the scene and according to a witness the victims were seen in morning with three police officers allegedly from Lesotho and they were apparently following information about stock theft that occurred in Lesotho.”

“All the three victims are Lesotho citizens and they are estimated to be between the ages of 24 and 40. The motive for the killing is unknown and no arrest has been made,” said the police.

On Monday afternoon Makhele told Public Eye that they were still investigating the matter and have not made any arrests. He appealed to the public to provide information over what could have transpired leading to the murders.

Brig Makhele said: “Investigations continue, and so far it’s confirmed that the attackers are not Lesotho Police as initially alleged by some witnesses but ordinary citizens from the country. Apparently the deceased were alleged to have stolen livestock. The farm where they were found killed is normally used to cross stolen stock or vehicles from Lesotho.”

There have been cases of stock theft across the border between Lesotho and South Africa; and a month ago the Democratic Alliance leader in the Free State Provincial Legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, aired his party’s concern on the surge in cross border crime happening between the Free State and Lesotho.

He stated that South African nationals resident along the border lived in fear of cross border attacks.

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