TWELVE Lerotholi Polytechnic students were recently arrested at the Mohokare River in Maseru on suspicions that they were conducting the infamous initiation rites which have resulted in the deaths of some first-year students over the years.
Last month, the body of 21-year-old Rethabile Mosito was discovered at the institution’s football pitch in the early hours of 21 July morning. He was the sixth student to die since 2009 as a result of the polytechnic students’ initiation culture.
The school authorities have threatened stern action against any students who participate in the infamous initiation rituals.
Acting on a tip-off on 24 August, the police arrested 12 students who were found at the river where they allegedly conduct the initiation rituals. Other students fled from the scene.
The suspects are aged from 18 to 27 and they remain in custody as police continue with their investigations.
Police Spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said the police were still looking for others who were involved in Mr Mosito’s death.
In another case, Supt Mopeli said Mamokhoane Mofolo, 24-year-old woman from Khabele Qholaqhoe in the Butha-Buthe district, appeared before the magistrate’s court on 23 August to answer to charges of murdering her 12-year-old sister in-law.
Mofolo allegedly assaulted the 12-year-old with a plastic sjambok on 20 August at about 10 pm on suspicion that the now deceased girl had stolen M510 from her.
Supt Mopeli said the girl was admitted in hospital but she later succumbed to her injuries.
Mofolo was remanded in police custody.
In another case, nine men aged from 18 to 30 appeared before the Mokhotlong Magistrates’ Court on 23 August 2018 for killing two men aged 35 and 18.
The suspects assaulted the deceased who they suspected to have masterminded an armed robbery at a construction business in Mokhotlong on 22 August where M13 000 was stolen.
The magistrate remanded the nine suspects in custody to the 5th of next month for trial. Fifty-one-year-old Mokotjo Letseka, from Mount Moorosi was slapped with a 10-year jail term by the Mokhotlong Magistrates Court on 21 August for raping a 17-year-old girl at a Quthing boarding school.
Letseka sneaked into the girls’ dormitories at about 2:30am and raped the victim. He reportedly ordered the girl not to make noise but she screamed and other learners alerted their matron.
The police arrested Letseka at a later date.
A 42-year-old man from Qoaling in the Maseru district, Tieho Sello, handed himself to the police on 21 August after killing a 42-year-old woman for failing to pay back a debt.
He handed himself to the police a day after the murder.
Mr Sello appeared in court on 22 August and the Maseru Magistrate’s Court remanded him in custody to the 5th of next month for trial.
Mr Sello allegedly attacked the deceased and stabbed her with a knife at about 6pm on 20 August and she died instantly.
In another case, 25-year-old Mpono Mosola was on 21 August 2018 sentenced to a year in prison after being found in illegal possession of 129, 9 kg of marijuana at the Hamohlapiso Bridge.
Mr Mosola failed to present the rightful documentation for the possession of the marijuana.
The court initially gave him an option to pay M2000 fine which he failed to pay.