SA police help hunt Lesotho coup plotter

2014-09-07 12:12
Soldiers sit on a military vehicle as it leaves the army barracks in Maseru following an apparent coup. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Soldiers sit on a military vehicle as it leaves the army barracks in Maseru following an apparent coup. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - South African police are assisting in the hunt for suspected Lesotho coup plotter Tlali Kamoli, who is believed to be hiding out in the mountains surrounding Lesotho’s capital, reports the Sunday Times.

According to the newspaper, Kamoli is suspected of being holed up in the area with about 200 soldiers and is believed to have artillery trained on the capital, Maseru.

It has emerged that South African policemen are also protecting the Lesotho prime minister and the country’s executive.

However, it is feared however that the tiny mountain kingdom is on the brink of a civil war, reports the Sunday Times.

Intervention on the part of South African special forces to get Kamoli to hand himself over have so far failed. Instead the former army chief plundered two armouries in Maseru, taking artillery, armoured vehicles, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and mortars.

The rebel army reportedly consists of 40 veteran special forces members and 160 recruits trained by special forces.

As reported by News24, a top Lesotho military commander has said that Kamoli refused to step down as the commander of the Lesotho Defence Forces.

"He has refused to vacate offices and depleted armouries," Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao said, adding the materiel was being used to prepare for "defensive and offensive" operations.

"Intelligence reports indicate he slips in and out of the mountains," Mahao added.

Prime Minister Tom Thabane asked Kamoli to relinquish his command a week ago.

Within hours of that order the military had attacked a host of police stations and Mahao - Kamoli's successor - had been the target of an attempted assassination. Thabane later fled to South Africa.

Intelligence sources say Kamoli has control of Lesotho's elite special forces unit of around 40 highly-trained troops, as well as the military's intelligence division.

Police said that during the attacks on their bases the military hunted for case files against Kamoli and other soldiers relating to corruption and a series of politically-motivated bomb attacks.

The military denies trying to stage a coup and says it raided police offices to get weapons it believed would have been given to "political fanatics".

Read more on:    tlali kamoli  |  tom thabane  |  lesotho

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.