MASERU — Two men from Mafeteng were on Monday imprisoned for five years each after they were convicted of conspiring to kill two popular famo musicians, two well known radio presenters and another person.
Puseletso Motsoaole, 28, and Thabiso Roeli, 20, admitted in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court that they conspired to kill famo music singer Lephat’soe Lebajoa who is popularly known as Selomo.
They also admitted that they were planning to eliminate Roman Catholic Radio announcer Vincent Nthoba and PC FM radio presenter Thabang Moliko. Sarele Sello, a famo artist known as Lehlanya, was also on their hit list. Motsoaole and Roeli were arrested on May 28, 2010 near Sea Point before they could execute their plan.
They were found with two unlicensed 9 mm pistols and 26 rounds of ammunition.
During the trial the two told the court that they had been sent by Bereng Majoro, a popular famo musician also known as Lekasa and is also a leader of a famo gang, to kill the four as part of an initiation ritual to join his musical group and gang.
Selomo is the leader of Fito, a gang of famo musicians that is a rival to Lekase’s Seakhi.
Sello belongs to a gang called Terene which is understood to be led by Rethabile Mokete, an artist also known as Mosotho Chakela who lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Motsoaole and Roeli told the court that Lekase had provided them with the guns and ammunition for their mission to eliminate the four.
They said Selomo and Sello were targeted because they are members of rival gangs.
They said the radio presenters — Nthoba and Moliko — were targeted because they were using their radio shows to promote famo songs from Sello’s gang members.
For conspiring to murder Motsoaole and Roeli were sentenced to four years in prison each.
They were also sentenced to an additional one year each for illegal possession of fire arms.
Passing judgment magistrate Molemo Monethi said the fact that Motsoaole and Roeli were sent on the mission by Lekase who provided them with the weapons did not exonerate them of the crime.
“Lekase gave you weapons and ammunition and you went to execute the plan. Even though you did not succeed, under the law you are liable to punishment,” Monethi said.
In mitigation Motsoaole asked the court to be lenient on him because it was Lekase who said he should first kill the four men if he wanted to work with him.
“I am looking after my widowed mother and siblings” Motsoaole said.
Roeli said the court should consider that the plan to kill the four failed.
“The plan to kill them failed,” he said.
Police say Lekase is still at large but they have been in contact with him. The sentences will run concurrently.