Too risky to arrest Lesotho coup leader - report

2014-09-14 11:06

Maseru - Lesotho’s renegade army chief Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli has resurfaced in the country’s capital despite facing treason charges. However, he has not been detained as police say it is too risky to arrest him.

According to the Sunday Times, Kamoli, who was holed up in the surrounding mountains following his failed coup attempt on 30 August, has been seen in uniform and with a motorcade in several places in the city, including at military hospital and Maseru airport.

Lesotho police said a case of high treason is being investigated against Kamoli – a charge that carries the death penalty.

Following his unsuccessful coup attempt, Kamoli took to the hills with about 200 soldiers and a large amount of weapons, including AK47s, grenade-launchers, an anti-aircraft gun and about 20 mortars.

Crisis summit deadlocked

Meanwhile, as reported by News24, Lesotho's deadlocked political parties failed to meet a Friday deadline for a fresh peace deal, prompting South Africa to call an emergency meeting of regional leaders.

After promising President Jacob Zuma that they would decide by Friday when to reopen Lesotho's parliament, rival leaders failed to resolve a crisis sparked two weeks ago by the aborted coup.

Reopening the legislature - which was shut in June - is seen as a key step toward restoring normality in the tiny mountainous state.

The attempted coup by Kamoli saw the military assault several police stations prompting the prime minister to flee the country.

One Lesotho police officer was killed, and nine others injured in the unrest.

Prime Minister Tom Thabane has since returned, protected by South African guards, but a Pretoria-brokered peace deal quickly disintegrated.

On Friday rival party leaders failed to patch up their difference, instead calling for the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) to step in.

"How can you open your own parliament when you still have foreign troops here, protecting you?" asked Thesele Maseribane, one of those who fled and is now under foreign guard.

"Everyone's interested in parliament, but what about what recently happened here? This is not a movie. This is reality. This was an attempted coup."

Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing's Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party has been blamed along with Kamoli for the putsch.


Kamoli has refused a prime ministerial order to resign and has apparently raided government armouries in preparation for a showdown. His allies have warned of a "bloodbath" if he is forcibly removed.

The SADC has so far been willing to play mediator, but rebuffed calls by some Lesotho leaders for military intervention, pressing instead for a political resolution.

Zuma visited Lesotho this week to try to end the stand-off, but Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was to travel to the country again on Friday.

A SADC troika will meet next week to discuss the crisis.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe - who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the bloc - said a full 15-member summit will be held on Wednesday in Pretoria.

The leaders are sure to face more calls for military intervention, although locals say they are "praying for peace".

  • Tavengwa Chivirira Muchini - 2014-09-14 11:12

    Do not go the arab ways the whole southern africa wil follow the same method

  • Alec Cooper - 2014-09-14 11:23

    No guts.

  • September Mphikeleli - 2014-09-14 12:02

    Peaceful little continent turn to power hungry thugs they must rotate with Prime Minister position simple no more the same clan incharge of running the country forever Thabane is old everybody can see that

  • John Greystoke - 2014-09-14 12:49

    Too risky? This is a new one to me! Too risky to enforce the law of the country, lekker slapgat.

      Zip Reeper - 2014-09-14 17:45

      they should never have taught those people democracy

  • Hobyani Terence - 2014-09-14 14:07

    Uncle BOB there iz the fugitive roaming in yr backyard come on zic and sib guys capture him and put him where he belongs chikurubi he wil come bek a law abiding citizen

  • Bento Maepa - 2014-09-14 14:09

    My foot - what has he got? EBOLA?

  • Libuseng Morake - 2014-09-14 15:47

    its sound very funny that our prime and mr masirebana are feeding the international public lies. There has never been a coup in lesotho instead the soldiers disarmed utta a group of rebels which seemed to be working hand in hand with the top police officers and some soldiers. The guns and booms were kept in custody of the police commision whom he uses to police stations as a store room hence the soldiers target those two police station. The soldiers presents the evidence to the nation that they got rumours that the utta aimed to attack the national procession which was meant to force the prime minister to open the parliament. Until to day the police has never denied nor agreed the soldiers claims instead the told the nation that the soldiers attacked them and asked them about the docket of metsing. Funny how can the soldiers look for a docket which is already at the courts of the law at the police station. Lesotho is in peace except the prime minister and his utta rebels. How come that we never got the side of metsing why this biasness i wonder. Why didn't the prime minister open the parliament before there so called coup. Why didnt he fulfil the neawziland agreement, why did we lost our sadc seat of peace and security. He may fool the international public but not us basotho. The fact of the matter is that he doesnot have enough numbers the opposition now holds the majority seats he has 32 seats out of 120. If the sadc troops comes in lesotho let them come they will fight with civilians our soldiers are preserving our peace and we can not sit back ana watch the prime minister distroy us.

      Ishamael Moalosi - 2014-09-15 01:33

      Well said! I am however greateful that the regional leaders have realized that Dr Thabane is using lies in his failed attempt to use the so-called militari inervention to solve his political problems! He has to telll this idiotic media houses that he wants to rule Lesotho with 32 seats out of 120!

      Nicki Diay - 2014-09-16 12:13

      M nt surprise hence de police commissioner s de source of this together with this criminal PM trying to rule Lesotho by force, His concubine is busy instructing government sectors of misusing gov funds for her own 1 wil arrest Kamoli

  • Ser-etse Moche - 2014-09-14 16:55

    What a disgrace...

  • Ser-etse Moche - 2014-09-14 17:00

    What a disgrace...

  • kwinika.m - 2014-09-14 17:40

    He has Ebola , I am sure.

  • Malekhotla Brooke Mohapi - 2014-09-16 14:19

    I'm gonna arrest u for publishing lies about Kamoli

  • Thabiso Lechesa - 2014-09-17 23:33

    neva hasitate to call a spade a spade= follow de law n arrest all dose outlaws

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