Captive soldier’s brother frustrated

As local petitioners approach SA again

MAMELLO SEBATANE

MASERU – The elder brother to one of the national army members incarcerated in South Africa has expressed disappointment towards government and the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). Motšepinyane Moepi told this publication that both government and the army have neglected their responsibility on people that they are obliged to protect.

Privates Dumile Tšoeunyane and Rorisang Moepi were apprehended by members of the South African Defence Force in Matatiele, Eastern Cape in South Africa, on July 19, 2020, as they were trailing stolen cattle from Lesotho. “This issue has dragged for too long. We are kept in the dark for some reason unknown to us as family members and the rest of the public. There is more to this than meets the eye. At this point no one is saying anything to us,” he explained.

“The LDF as their employer is not saying anything either, but our brothers were arrested while on duty. They should take responsibility,” the elder Moepi fumed. He welcomed the efforts and support granted by the Basotho Lead-Petitioners for their interest to initiate calls for the soldiers’ release on behalf of the detained army men. “We appreciate what the movement is doing for us, for our brothers. It has been a very difficult time for our families since the arrests were made but we will wait more,” he stated.

The Basotho Lead-Petitioners submitted their second petition to the South African High Commission (SAHC) this Wednesday over the contentious issue of the two members of the LDF detained in South Africa. Their petition also included an equally controversial and long-running historical issue of reclamation of Basotho land incorporated into South Africa.

The letter was signed and accepted by the commission’s first Secretary Political, Rudolph Stroebel. Mpho Serobanyane, co-ordinator of the Basotho Lead-Petitioners said they decided to resubmit the petition after the seven-day ultimatum accompanying the first petition lapsed without any response from South Africa.

“We were here to submit a petition on the 3rd February 2021 and we had granted a seven-day period for a response but to this point we have not heard from South Africa through any of their representatives,” he said.

He noted the gesture marks the last of their first plan of action, adding that their next move would be to conduct a peaceful protest outside the SAHC premises and if it fails there is still on more options to consider. Serobanyane refused to be drawn to elaborate on such options.

 

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