SADC to send fact-finding mission to Lesotho after defence chief’s slaying

05 September 2017 - 20:02 By Graeme Hosken
Two Lesotho army officers stormed Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motsomotso's office at the military headquarters and gunned him down.
Two Lesotho army officers stormed Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motsomotso's office at the military headquarters and gunned him down.
Image: SAPS

The Southern African Development Community is to send a fact finding mission to Lesotho following the assassination of that country's defence force chief‚ Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motsomotso.

The killing happened on Tuesday when two Lesotho army officers stormed his office at the military headquarters and gunned him down.

The men - Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi - were shot dead in a shootout with Motsomotso's bodyguards and other soldiers.

The gunmen‚ according to Lesotho's permanent secretary for the Ministry of Defence and National Security‚ Colonel Tanki Mothae - were under criminal investigation along with a number of other soldiers for the murder of Lesotho's former defence force commander‚ General Maaparanko Mahao‚ in 2015.

In a statement President Jacob Zuma‚ who has taken over chairmanship of SADC‚ said he was revolted by Motsomotso's murder.

He said the killing had created a "dangerous pattern in the Kingdom of Lesotho".

"This unfortunate incident happens so soon after the Kingdom of Lesotho had conducted peaceful and democratic elections which SADC had thought were to bring political normalcy and stability in the country."

He said SADC would dispatch a Ministerial Fact Finding Mission to Lesotho on Thursday to assess the situation and determine the required intervention mechanism.

Zuma said he was calling for "absolute calm and restraint".

- TimesLIVE

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