Former Arsenal Football Club star Puling Puling was shot dead on Monday night at his Qoaling home, allegedly following a land dispute.
According to sources close to the matter, the former goalkeeper was rushed to hospital after the shooting where he unfortunately passed away the same night.
Police spokesperson Clifford Molefe confirmed Puling’s death, adding a suspect had been arrested in connection with the killing.
“We arrested the suspect on the same night of the shooting. It is suspected the two men were fighting over land, but it’s too early for me to release information about the matter as this might jeopardize police investigations,” Senior Inspector Molefe said on Tuesday.
However, according to the sources who spoke to the Lesotho Times on condition of anonymity, the suspect allegedly bought land from the Puling family, but only paid part of the price.
After failing to settle the balance, Puling is said to have informed the suspect that he would be reimbursed his money and also that the deal would be cancelled, the sources further said.
“On Monday evening, Puling was on the piece of land in question in Qoaling, working on it. The suspect passed by without saying a word and came back a few minutes later with a firearm and shot Puling right in the head. He was rushed to hospital where he unfortunately died,” one of the sources said.
Meanwhile, Puling’s ex-teammate, Teele Ntšonyane, said the now-deceased was “a man of honour” and respectful both on and off the football pitch.
“I found Puling at Arsenal (in the 90s) when I joined the team and one of the biggest characteristics he possessed was the ability to accommodate everyone regardless of their status. He gave everyone the same respect and in return, we would feel obliged to do the same,” Mr Ntšonyane said.
He said it was unfortunate that such “a beautiful soul” was now gone.
It was not immediately clear when the suspect would appear in court.
Puling was now employed at a local mining firm.