A Semonkong man was shot dead yesterday morning following a long term dispute over land.
The man, believed to be in his fifties, was said to have been travelling on horseback to Semonkong Local Court when he met his untimely death.
Semonkong Police Station commander Sub-Inspector Hlalefang Matsoso confirmed the killing.
“I can confirm that a man was allegedly shot this morning but at the moment I don’t have full details concerning the suspected murder,” Sub-Inspector Matsoso told the Lesotho Times.
However, sources from Ha Thabo in Semonkong said the deceased and another man (whose name is known to this publication) were supposed to attend a court session for delivery of judgement over a land dispute.
“The disease had dragged another man to the local government after he broke into the chieftaincy yard, grazing his animals without permission,” the source said, adding that the man had over the years complained that the chieftaincy land was too big.
The source further alleged that the man who the deceased had dragged to court suggested that the chieftaincy had forcefully taken their land, hence the big yard.
He said the man was taking advantage of the fact that current chief, Thesele Lerotholi was only brought to Semonkong in his adult life when the rightful chief died many years ago.
The rightful chief did not have male children and the family appointed the Mokhotlong born chief Lerotholi to the position as the chieftaincy should not be permanently unoccupied.
The source said the Lerotholi family reported the land dispute to the police and the Phamong principal chief who eventually went to Semonkong for new land demarcations.
“But that did not help, instead it fueled the anger of the man who constantly picked quarrels with the deceased.”
The source said the body of the deceased was found in a gully early in the morning.