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Monday, August 3, 2009

Six in court over Lesotho plot Sapa

Published:Aug 03, 2009

Pakalitha Mosisili

Six people appeared in the Bloemfontein Regional Court today for the attempted assassination of Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili in April this year.

  • Nine held over plot to kill Lesotho PM

  • 4 killed, one held in Lesotho plot

    The matter was postponed to August 25 in the same court for further investigation.

    Gunmen opened fire on and stormed Mosisili’s residence in Lesotho’s capital Maseru on April 22.

    Lesotho Communications Minister Mothetjoa Metsing later described the attackers as South African and Mozambican mercenaries who had been contracted to stage a coup.

    He also indicated that four attackers were killed in the incident.

    The men who appeared in the Bloemfontein court today were arrested hours after the attack in the Free State.

    One of the alleged masterminds of the Maseru attack and a former Lesotho soldier, Makotoko Lerotholi, was later arrested in Gauteng and appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

    Police spokeswoman Director Sally de Beer said at the time the case against Lerotholi was postponed while he remained in custody pending the process to extradite him to Lesotho.

    She said those arrested in the Free State would also be subject to the extradition process.

    Asked about the progress with the extradition process, Free State police spokeswoman Captain Rulene Kuhn said the information was sub judice.

    Kuhn confirmed that another man, Jessie Ramatakane, 60, appeared in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the case.

    The matter against Ramatakane was also postponed and would be joined with those men who appeared in the Bloemfontein court for re-appearance on August 25.

    A local newspaper earlier reported that Ramatakane, a businessman from Gauteng, was seen as one of the main conspirators in the Lesotho attack.

    Ramatakane was arrested in the eastern Free State last week.

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