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Prisons boss poisoned in ‘murder attempt’

KEISO MOHLOBOLI

Lesotho Correctional Service Commissioner Thabang Mothepu was poisoned with a nerve agent and hospitalised at Makoanyane Military Hospital on Monday in what he suspects was an attempted murder, the MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism can reveal.

Mothepu was, however, released later yesterday (Tuesday March 5) after spending the entire night on close treatment.

The commissioner confirmed to the MNN Center for Investigative Journalism yesterday about the ordeal, adding he suspected it was an attempt by someone or a group of people to murder him.

Nerve agents are highly toxic chemicals, also known as organophosphates, that poison the nervous system and disrupt bodily functions which are vital to an individual’s survival.

Asked by this reporter whether he had reported the matter with the police, Mothepu indicated “working on establishing suspect(s) first, so that when inform the police about this matter, I’m able to provide the suspects…. When I report this to the police, I have to be sure of the suspect”.

The commissioner was quick to indicate that he could not comment further on the matter as he was still ailing.

Meanwhile, an authoritative source who asked not to be identified for protocol purposes told the Centre earlier today (Wednesday March 6) that Mothepu had all the specific signs and symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.

“He had excessive production of sweat, severe headaches, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, muscle twitching and chest tightness and shortness of breath. If somebody, or a group of people, did this to the commissioner, then clearly, they were on mission to end his life,” the source said.

Commissioner Mothepu becomes the second LCS boss to experience poisoning after the former Commissioner Khalechane Khalechane died allegedly of the same in 2014.

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