Prime Minister apologizes to family over police brutal slaughter of students

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…negligent police killed innocent onlooker during NUL protests

By Lisebo Letsie

An entourage of Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and his police minister Lepota Sekola conveyed their condolences and apology messages to the family of slain National University of Lesotho (NUL) student Kopano Makutoane.

Makutoane was shot in the face multiple times with live rounds by members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) who were deployed to quash a student protest last week at NUL.

However, the police deployed at the scene were allegedly overpowered by the crowd of angry students in protest that they had been shortchanged by their state sponsor, the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) and ended up using live rounds to dispel the crowd and only to injure and kill Makutoane.

As the students were running for dear life as the police unleashed on them their ruthless brutality, an onlooker who was sitting outside at her home was pelted to a pulp by the police and later died.

As the strike went on, social media went into a frenzy with videos and pictures of police assaulting the students going viral.

A sombre mood came over NUL in the past week as students were left in shock and holding a vigil from the university gates to the Moshoeshoe administrative block of the university in remembrance of their colleague who met his untimely death at the hands of the police.

Majoro told Makutoane family he is saddened by the actions of the police that led to the death of the family’s son.

Majoro said he takes full responsibility for the brutal killing of Makutoane and assured the family that justice shall be done.

Majoro told the family that it came as a shock that police used live ammunition to dispel protestors who were unarmed.

He said he would soon give a full report on what transpired on the day police killed Makutoane.

The second victim of last week’s Thursday police brutality is also dead, unfortunately, she was not a student and part of the protest.

Reports are that other students are badly injured and are fighting for their lives in hospital.

The protesters were ignited by the delay in receipt of their stipends from the NMDS and those who received their stipends only received M450 instead of their usual monthly allowance of M1,100.

Human rights group, the Transformation Resource Centre has called for immediate suspension of police officers who assaulted students and killed Makutoane.

Since the murder of Makutoane, the LMPS Office of the Spokesperson Senior Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli has said investigations are underway to establish the facts of what transpired and led to the brutal killings of the deceased on 16 June 2022.