By Frank utonga
JOHANNESBURG – Lesotho Police have arrested two South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers and two border officials who went into that country to fill up with petrol without passports.
Police said the four contravened COVID-19 travel restrictions.
But observers see the arrest as retaliation for two Lesotho soldiers who were arrested for crossing into South Africa while pursuing alleged livestock thieves a month ago.
They were still in custody in the Eastern Cape.
South African border officials cross into Lesotho towns almost daily to fill up with petrol, because it’s much cheaper on that side.
But for the two soldiers and two other officials now arrested, it appeared their timing was all wrong.
Lesotho police spokesperson Mpiti Mopeli said they would be charged for entering the Kingdom in contravention of travel restrictions
But many Basotho viewed this as payback for two Lesotho soldiers who were recently handcuffed while chasing alleged livestock thieves.
Earlier this week the Lesotho Defence Force said it’ was surprised that they were not offered the same courtesy that SANDF soldiers get when they chase livestock thieves and cross the border into Lesotho.
The arrested South Africans were expected to appear in court on Friday.