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Private Moepi not blind – LDF

LDF REFUTES ALLEGATIONS

Maseru, April.13—The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) has refuted allegations making rounds on social media that Private Rorisang Moepi who has been detained in South Africa in July last year is now blind.

It is alleged that Moepi turned blind due to injuries he sustained during his arrest and that he was denied medical attention despite court’s order that he be taken to hospital.

Moepi aged 26 was arrested together with Private Dumile Ts’oeunyane aged 22 in Matatiele while pursuing Basotho livestock which had been stolen by rustlers in the border areas.

According to LDF Public Affairs Captain Sakeng Lekola, Moepi is not blind at all but has eye problems saying that he could not dwell much into the matter as it is before the courts of law adding that the duo are yet to appear in court again on April 15.

He added that as LDF they are monitoring the case citing that their legal personnel always attend the court hearings under the guidance of government through office of the Attorney General.

On December 15, 2020 LDF in a media briefing had announced that the two defence forces LDF and their counterpart South African Defence Force (SANDF) are yet to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entailing their operations agreement.

LDF Director of Legal Services Colonel Thabang Mathatjane said the agreement which they have been using for years termed Operational Liaison Committee is outdated hence the move to have the MoU which he said will be signed soon.

He noted that though the two members are still in custody, the government has engaged that office of the Attorney General for legal representation of the former saying they had hoped that they would have been released by now but highlighted that on December 03, their second bail application was denied.

He stated despite the cordial corporation between the two defence forces, SANDF has no say in how courts of law operate therefore emphasizing that at this stage SANDF could do request the courts to release the duo.

In another story, on August 28, which was the anticipated arrival of the soldiers at Mejametalana Military Airstrip Base Prime Minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro would not explain why the soldiers were not released as promised but highlighted that diplomatic talks were still ongoing and the soldiers were still expected to be back soon.

Dr. Majoro revealed that the delegation to South Africa also engaged in talks regarding how the two countries could work jointly to fight stock theft that is rife in the border areas of Qacha’s Nek and Matatiele. The talks also dwelled on possible re-opening of borders.

He stressed that his administration would ensure that the two countries consider stamping out of cross border crime is a priority, proposing a round the clock joint cross border operations, especially along the borders where livestock theft is rife.

The duo are charged on five counts including, illegal entry into South Africa, illegal possession of unlicensed firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, robbery with aggravating circumstances and stock theft which was later cancelled.

LENA

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