Boy (10) killed over theft

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BUTHA-BUTHE — Likhapha Lelosa, 21, is still in shock after her only brother, Tankiso, was clobbered to death with a knobkerrie two weeks ago. 
Ten-year-old Tankiso Lelosa was struck on the head with a knobkerrie by a neighbour who allegedly caught him red-handed stealing from his café in Maloseng, Butha-Buthe.
Lelosa told the Lesotho Times this week that the neighbour, Setene Lei allegedly battered Tankiso with a knobkerrie despite seeing that the suspected thief was a mere boy.
The boy sustained four open wounds on the head including one behind the left ear.
His head was spongy.
A doctor’s report says he died of internal bleeding.
“Tankiso came back from school on Thursday afternoon as usual and went out to play,” Lelosa said with a shaking voice.
“Later that day I saw my brother coming from the fields with Setene pulling a small handcart. He came back home holding an egg.
“Tankiso said he got that egg from Mantebaleng, Lei’s wife,” she said.
“He asked me to fry it for him but I told him that we didn’t have cooking oil so I would boil it for him.”
She said he told her that Mantebaleng had asked him to buy red rajah (spice used to season food) for her.  
“Tankiso took longer than expected, while I was still hoping that he would come back, Mantebaleng asked me to come and see that her husband had killed a thief,” She said.
“I had this strong feeling that it might be my brother. I told her that I cannot come because I can feel that it was my brother.”   
“I can not believe that I am the only one left in my family since our parents were dead.”
She said one of her neighbours persuaded her to go and see the dead body.
“When I was about to reach the shop, I heard Mantebaleng saying ‘Tankiso you are a misfortunate, you have now caused my husband to kill you,” she said.
She said her brother used to herd Lei’s cattle although he was not his shepherd.
“Tankiso was still a scholar at Maloseng Primary School,” she said.
Their cousin, Sam Lelosa said it was surprising that Tankiso was murdered by Setene who was his best friend despite their age difference.
“We were really surprised when we heard that Tankiso had been killed by Setene because they were very close.
“The day Tankiso died he had been with the suspect at the fields. They were always together like father and son,” he said.
Senior Inspector Pheello Mphana confirmed the incident.
He said the police have opened a murder case and investigations are continuing.
“The suspect experienced some shortage of goods in his shop. Then on Thursday night he decided to guard his shop. He heard some movement in the shop,” Mphana said.
“Then the suspect asked some men who were passing by to come and help him. When they opened the door they saw someone going behind the fridge and he threw the knobkerrie that he was holding.  
“The suspect appeared in court on 13 November and he was remanded in custody”.
However, according to Lelosa the two men said when they opened the shop they recognised that the person in the shop was Tankiso.
They even informed Lei that he was a child but he asked them to stay at the door so that “he could kill that thief.”

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