Katse Dam guards fatally shot


Police suspect robbery as motive behind incident


MASERU – Two security officers deployed at the two entrances to the Katse Dam’s West gate and the dam wall entrance were attacked and killed by unknown assailants in the early hours of Monday this week. The pair was discovered by colleagues who were reporting in for a change of shifts, according to a statement released by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) following the incident. LHDA publications editor, Malakeng Hloma, confirmed these developments to Public Eye in an interview on Wednesday this week.

Hloma said the deceased were found alive but critical with gunshot wounds on their heads and were rushed to ’Mamohau Hospital right away. He said one of the men died on the way to the hospital while other died on Tuesday at the hospital. This tragic incident was reported to the police and investigations are still under way. Hloma said there was no damage of property at the scene, indicating that police investigations were expected to point to a clear motive behind the killings. “Our most immediate understanding is that there is a wave of crime countrywide currently, which we have just been made victims of,” he said.

Hloma bemoaned the escalating level of crime in the country, which he highlighted always led to unnecessary deaths of members of the public. He said LHDA’s security team was already hard at work assisting the police in their investigation of the incident. Lesotho Mounted Police Service spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, also confirmed receipt of a report on the murders, adding that no suspect has been apprehended as yet as investigations are still being conducted.

Mopeli said preliminary assessment suggests robbery as the motive behind the killing of the guards, as the unknown assailants took a gun and a mobile phone of one of the security officers. Katse Dam is a component of Phase I of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) between Lesotho and South Africa, meant to generate electricity in Lesotho and also to provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa. This project runs through multiple phases.

The role of the LHDA in the project is to oversee the overall implementation works of the project and meet the purpose for which the project was established for such as dams. In its statement released on Wednesday this week informing the public of this tragic incident, the LHDA management expressed its heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased but expressed hope that the perpetrators will be found and brought before the courts of law to answer for their actions.

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