Three fugitives caught

2016-08-31 06:00

PHUTHADITJHABA. – Lehlohonolo Sello (21), ­Lehlohonolo Chere (19) and a minor aged 17 are expected to re-appear before the Tseki Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 7 September, for formal bail application.

The three alleged partners in crime are facing charges of rape, house robbery, attempted murder, attempted rape, armed robbery, housebreaking and theft.

They briefly appeared before the court on Thursday (25/08).

The suspects are from various villages of the Butha-Buthe District in Lesotho and were arrested at the Monontsa cattle post.

The arrests followed a series of serious crimes they allegedly committed in the Monontsa Villages between July and August.

According to Sgt Mmako Mophiring, police spokesperson, the three suspects were allegedly terrorising women around the villages with a firearm and raping them inside their homes, open fields and near mountain areas.

“On another crime scene, they allegedly shot and injured one of the girls who was hiding inside her bedroom when they were trying to rape her.

“They then instead raped her two friends.

“The suspects further ­allegedly robbed and stole items and ran to the mountains after the commission of their crimes,” he said.

Mophiring said on Friday, 19 August, the Phuthaditjhaba Family, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) and the Tseki police had cordoned off the cattle post where the suspects had been hiding.

“The cluster commander of Phuthaditjhaba, Maj.Gen. Peter Moloi, organised a police helicopter for the team to search for the suspects at their hide-out in the Maluti Mountains in the Drakensberg.

“The police landed at one of the erected shacks at the cattle post and found clothing which was identified by one of the women.

“The suspects are also linked to a case of house robbery and a rape case in which a pregnant woman was allegedly raped,” Mophiring said.

He said on Monday, 22 August, at about 18:30, the police went back to the ­Monontsa cattle post following information which led to the arrest of the first Lesotho national.

“The other two suspects fled into Lesotho. On Tuesday, 23 August, at about 17:00, the police went back to Monontsa and arrested the second suspect.

“At about 22:00, the Phuthaditjhaba Tactical Response Team was called to assist and they arrested the third suspect,” he said.

Moloi said he would like to applaud the Phuthaditjhaba FCS, the Free State police air wing, the Tseki police, crime intelligence, the tactical response team and the community for their participation.

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