Police shoot vendor dead

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Thato RamarikhoaneBy ’Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — A street vendor was shot dead and another badly injured by police on claims that he resisted arrest last Saturday.

The two victims, Seatile Mokhoane, who was shot dead and Raiea Masiphu, who was injured, were assaulted by some police officers following a clash with another group of vendors at a taxi rank in Maseru.

Police spokesperson Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane confirmed the shooting incident.

“The shooting followed a report we had received of a man who had been stabbed. When we followed up, the suspect, he became violent and resisted the lawful arrest.

He even hit a police officer with a stick leading to the shooting,” Ramarikhoane said.

He said police were investigating the murder case before they could forward the docket to the Director of Public Prosecution for directives on the case.

However, Masiphu who claimed he was also assaulted by the police said the initial clash was caused by one vendor who had refused to return his mobile-phone.

He claimed the vendor had picked his phone, which he had dropped but when he demanded it back, he refused.

“Later in the afternoon, he came with four men and pointed at Seatile, (the now deceased) as one who was also involved in the previous dispute.”

He claimed the men, some of whom he suspected were police officers, started hitting him with a stick.

“From what I saw, Seatile had tried to defend himself before one of the men shot him.

“These men just attacked Seatile and did not introduce themselves as the police.”

He said after shooting the now deceased, the suspects came after him.

“They hit me with a stick and I could hear one woman pleading with them not to kill me.”

He said some of the vendors later rushed him to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial hospital.

Masiphu further explained that although he has reported the assault to the police, no action has been taken to arrest the suspects.

“They told me they were investigating the murder before they could deal with my report.”

The now deceased’s brother, Mohlouoa Mokhoane, said his family is still trying to come to terms with his brother’s death.

He said his late brother had over M8 000 and airtime vouchers, part of which disappeared during the fatal attack. Police said only M400 was found in the now deceased’s pocket.

 

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