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Gripping details of how soldier was killed



MASERU – THE High Court heard how a famo music gangster, Motlatsi Ranteoana, 24, tried hiding his unlicensed pistol in a toilet pit after he killed a soldier in 2017.

High Court judge Justice ’Mafelile Ralebese heard that Ranteoana, who is facing two counts of murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm, insulted the soldier before killing him.

He is also accused of killing a street vendor and injuring another soldier during the fracas.

Ranteoana pleaded not guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges but guilty to the illegal possession of a firearm.

Ranteoane is from Mohale’s Hoek, Ha-Qoane.
The High Court heard that Renteoana was approached by a military intelligence officer near Gate Way Filling Station at the Maseru Border who demanded that he hand over his illegal gun.

He refused.

The judge heard that Ranteoana told the soldier, who was in plain clothes, that he would give him his mother if he came near him.

Telling a Mosotho man that you would give him his mother is regarded as an insult and that you are ready for violence.

When the soldier, Private Katleho Seliane, insisted that Ranteoana hand over the gun and approached him he allegedly pulled the trigger and killed him.

He also killed a nearby street vendor, Moeketsi Makhabane, and injured another soldier who responded to the gunfight, Private Halekhethe Nkonyana.

The court heard that Ranteoana, a famo gangster, was under the impression that he was being attacked and thought he should protect himself.

Ranteoana told the court that the soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and did not introduce themselves to him.

He said he was also shot in the hand while fighting for the gun with one soldier.

The first witness in this case, Mahali Makoa, 36, who is a street vendor at the Maseru Bridge, said she knew Makhabane as they were working together as street vendors.

Makoa said on May 13, 2017 between 5pm and 6pm at the Gate Way Garage a white sprinter arrived followed by another white car and Ranteoana got out of one of the two cars.

Makoa said Ranteoana was dressed in a brown Brentwood pair of trousers, leather jacket and un-matching socks and shoes.

Makoa told the court that Ranteoana and several other men got out of the cars.

She said one man from the garage approached the men and told them that he was afraid that they were going to make noise and might break property at the garage and therefore asked them to leave.

She said the men left the garage and Ranteoana approached her table holding a gun.

Amid the tension, she approached Makhabane and informed her that the man approaching them had a gun.

Makoa said the man cocked the gun while the soldier approached him saying: “Sir, I am not fighting with you, I want the weapon in your hand.”

Then Ranteoana replied: “If you come to me, wanting my gun, I am not going to give it to you.”

The soldier said to him: “I am an officer of the law and here is my identity card, I want the weapon in your hand.”

Ranteoana said to the soldier: “If you want my gun, I am going to give you your mother.”

Makoa said at this moment Makhabane told Ranteoana that he was not going to give the soldier his mother in their presence.

At that moment, Ranteoana fired in the direction of the soldier.

She said she immediately stood up and fled.

The case continues.

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