Musician who was facing murder charge shot dead


MASERU — Boithatelo Leopa was granted bail on July 8.
Six days later he was dead.
Armed gunmen pumped four bullets into Leopa’s body.
The 28-year-old musician was himself under investigation over the kidnapping and murder of yet another famo music producer, Mohapi Sello, in May.
But on Thursday, the police say a rival gang in the troubled music industry had its revenge.
Leopa’s death came six days after he was granted bail by the Mafeteng Magistrate’s Court on July 8.
Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha said Leopa was shot and killed by unknown gunmen who fled the scene after the incident.
“The deceased was released on bail two weeks ago when he appeared in court in connection with the kidnapping and killing of music producer Mohapi Sello,” Masupha said.
He said Leopa, who was also known as Mafenetha, was on duty at a supermarket in Maseru where he worked as a security guard when armed gunmen pounced on him before shooting him dead.
Masupha said Leopa had four gunshot wounds in the stomach, shoulder and at the back.
He said the gunmen found Leopa sitting outside the shop after it had closed for the day.
“He tried to escape by running into the shop but they followed him firing more bullets,” Masupha said.
He said they suspect Leopa was killed as part of the ongoing gang wars in the famo music industry.
At least a hundred musicians and producers have been killed in the last 18 months in the gang wars.
Leopa belonged to the Terene gang which is locked in a mortal fight for supremacy with a rival gang called Seakhi.
Leopa was arrested together with fellow musicians Sarele Sello, Motlatsi ‘Mentla’ Selai and an unnamed local radio presenter during Army Day celebrations at Mejametalana three weeks ago.
The radio presenter was later released due to lack of evidence.
The three were accused of kidnapping and killing Sello who was a member of the Seakhi group.
More than 100 artistes and music producers have been killed in gang wars between the two sides over the past two years.
In October last year the two parties signed a peace agreement during a meeting in Mafeteng where they pledged to stop attacking each other.
But the peace deal failed to hold as more musicians continued to be gunned down.
Most of the killings have happened in Mafeteng, a district known for producing some of the country’s best famo artists.
The killings were largely triggered by competition for record sales and offensive lyrics in which the musicians attack each other.


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