MASERU — Limpho Mokoetje’s body was still burning when his aunt, Malithelo Sekheo, arrived.
He had been set on fire by men who accused him of stealing aluminum frames from a brick-making company in the village.
Earlier that Saturday the men had snatched Mokoetje, 32, from Sekheo’s home in Ha Shelile.
Ignoring Sekheo’s desperate pleas to take her nephew to the police, they had bundled him into their pick-up truck and sped away.
His laptop and desktop computers were also loaded into the car.
The men had told Sekheo that her nephew was going to die a miserable death.
As the truck drove out of her yard Sekheo had rushed to the Thetsane Police Station to look for help.
There she found a police officer who told her that he did not believe the men would carry out their threat to kill Mokoetje.
“The officer said come and report to me later,” Sekheo recalls.
She did not need to go far to find out what had happened to her nephew because news was already spreading in the village.
“At first they said he has been beaten but later they said he had been killed,” she said.
Behind a nearby primary school a horrific scene awaited Sekheo.
“I can’t even explain how I feel, am hurting, my nephew died a painful death,” Sekhoe said.
“His body was still burning when I arrived.
“The wires of the tyre they had used to burn him were still there.”
On Monday Sekheo received Mokoetje’s computers and keys to his room.
The village of Ha Tikoe is still shocked and so is Chief Mahloko Mapesela.
“I am still in shock. I don’t understand why those people took the law into their own hands. They should have reported the matter to me,” he said.
Chief Mapesela said he received news of Mokoetje’s burning at around 4 pm.
“I have never seen anything so horrific.
“It was a gruesome killing,” the chief said.
“We could not identify him as his head had been burned to ashes.
“The body and the wires from what we suspect could be a tyre was left there.
“His hands were fastened behind his back”.
Mapesela is particularly shocked that the men had decided to take the law into their own hands.
The owner of the company, he said, should have reported the matter to him or the police before his man took Mokoetje.
“He (company owner) has contributed to some social activities in the village so I don’t understand why he could not report the incident.
“Even after this tragedy he had not come to my office,” he said.
Police spokesperson inspector Thato Ramarikhoane said the police received the report in the evening.
He however said Mokoetje had been accused of stealing computers and not aluminum frames from the company as the chief and Sekheo had said.
“The employees interrogated the deceased as their computers had been stolen.
“During their interrogation the deceased could not clarify where he was getting the computers he was selling.
“He ran away during the questioning and villagers caught him,” Ramarikhoane said.
“It is suspected that they hanged a tyre around his neck and burned him to death.
“They should have taken the suspect to the police instead of taking the law into their own hands.
“They will now have to face murder charges,” he said
Police are doing further investigations.