Basotho Lead Petitioners demand soldiers’ release

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By Kefiloe Kajane

The Basotho Lead-Petitioners today submitted a petition to the South African High Commission demanding the release of two members of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) incarcerated in Matatiele in that country since last year.

The petition was received by South African high commission first secretary political Rudolph Stroebel who promised to pass it on to the relevant department.

The two soldiers have been detained in South Africa since July 2020 after they were found trailing livestock of Basotho which had been stolen by South African rustlers; security agencies were convinced by the relevant documents that indeed the livestock belonged to Basotho.

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The petition indicates that despite being convinced by the LDF identity cards, these soldiers were badly beaten up, tortured, harassed, humiliated, filmed while beaten up and insulted by South African National Defence Force members.

“They were charged with stock theft and later the charges were dropped and new charges emerged. We therefore rightfully so, demand the release of the two Lesotho soldiers detained in your country,” Serobanyane said.