Thaba-Tseka farmer faces murder charge

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MASERU — A Thaba-Tseka farmer who killed his neighbour 14 years ago finally appeared in the High Court on Tuesday to answer a charge of murder.

Tsikane Lekhoaba is accused of killing Motebang Khabo in 1997 at Ha-Moqekela south-east of Thaba-Tseka town after accusing him of stealing his livestock.

Teboho Pitso, 38, from Ha-Moqekela, told the High Court on Tuesday that he witnessed the killing.

He said Tsikane killed Motebang during a search for his stolen flock of sheep.

Pitso said Tsikane had received a message that his livestock post had been attacked and a flock of sheep stolen.

He said the village men went out to search for the stolen sheep until they arrived at the pass leading to ‘Matšooana plateaux in the same district.

Motebang was among the village men who went out on the search.

“As we were discussing how we were going to divide ourselves ntate Tsikane’s younger brother, Mothusi, hit Motebang with a stick on the head.

“The other men including ntate Tsikane and his brother fastened his (Motebang) hands as he was lying unconscious on the ground.

“After he regained consciousness he asked why he was being beaten but ntate Tsikane told him that he was going to kill him,” Pitso said.

He said Tsikane took a stick and hit Motebang on the head.

“After that he (Tsikane) shot Motebang at the back as he was lying prostrate on the ground,” he added.

Pitso said that Tsikane had begged him to tell the court that he did not witness the killing but he refused.

He said he believed his life was in danger now that he had told the court how he witnessed Tsikane killing Motebang.

“Now that I have defied his orders I wonder what will happen to my life,” Pitso added.

The case is proceeding before High Court judge Justice Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane.

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