Two Lesotho-born men residing in Matatiele, South Africa, were apprehended by the Lesotho Defence Force’s (LDF’s) 13 Infantry Battalion on Wednesday last week after they were seen driving seven cattle and found to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. One was wearing part of a South African National Defence Force uniform.
They were heading towards the borders of Lesotho and Matatiele when the soldiers patrolling the area apprehended them and handed them over to the police.
Army spokesman Captain Kelebone Mothibi said one of the two men had on South African National Defence Force camouflage pants.
Mothibi said the soldiers on patrol were informed that some cattle were stolen in the village of Thaba Tsoelike in Qacha’s Nek.
He said the two men explained that they are paid to steal animals in Lesotho.
He said they have pleaded with the communities to report theft incidents as soon as they occur so that they could be assisted in time.
The duo is facing a charge of stock theft, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
It was not was not yet clear at the time of publication if one of the accused could also be charged for wearing SANDF pants.
Mothibi said the Lesotho Defence Force is ready to protect the lives of people and their animals at any given time.
Meanwhile, two LDF officers who have been detained in Matatiele for a month ago are expected to appear before the court on Friday for bail application.
They were expected to land into the country last Friday.
Mothibi said there were some technical issues that have to be considered in the bail application but Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro said those men should be expected to come home at any time soon following negotiations with the South African government last week.