While still mourning her deceased husband, the widow of former Lesotho Defence Special Forces Commander Colonel Tefo Hashatsi has become a person on interest to the Lesotho’s intelligence community that is investigating the murder of army commander in what was suspected to be an attempted military coup. Highly placed sources in Maseru have revealed that former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Special Forces officer Pauline Galeatle is under the National Security Services (NSS) radar over the recent failed coup at LDF headquarters in which the Commander Lieutenant General Khoantle Motso-Motso. Hashatsi and Brigadier Bulane Sechele were shot dead by bodyguards of General Motso-Motso after they tried to flee after assassinating him. There is a strong suspicion that Galeatle-Hashatsi might have known about the planned incident and NSS investigators are not ruling out that she might have helped in planning it, revealed the source.
Galeatle-Hashatsi, a Molepolole-born who is one of the first female cadres to be enlisted by the BDF, met her future husband during a gruelling military training in Tanzania. NSS with the help of security personnel deployed by SADC are said to have thrown their net wide in their investigation as they try to bring stability in the country’s security community. Those who trained with Lieutenant Galeatle-Hashatsi said that she is a hard nut to crack military officer who is well-disciplined and doubt if she could have participated in the planning and execution of the assassination. Galeatle was married to Hashatsi in a traditional wedding after BDF rejected her application to marry the LDF Special Forces Commander. The reason for the rejection of the application is said to have been on security grounds as Hashatsi was the commander of the Special Forces in Lesotho. After BDF learnt of her intention to go ahead with the marriage, she was transferred to Glen Valley and later to Francistown in the Agriculture and Catering Unit. During the funeral of Hashatsi last weekend, Galeatle-Hashatsi’s uncle blasted the government of Lesotho for not according their son- in-law a military funeral though he had dedicated his life to protecting Lesotho nation. In a video seen by this publication, the Galeatle family representative said they are waiting for the post-mortem to know what really killed their son –in- law. The late Hashatsi had a son with the former BDF officer. During the funeral, the Lesotho media was barred from covering the funeral with only South African national broadcaster SABC allowed. Contacted for comment Lesotho’s Minister of Defence and national Security Sentje Lebona over the alleged investigations, asked to be called later, and upon calling him, the mobile phone was off-line.
SADC Double Troika
At their meeting held in Pretoria recently SADC Double Troika which consists of South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Angola approved the Ministerial Fact Finding Mission report. The report recommended that SADC should deploy both military and civilian expert to the mountainous kingdom. “Deployment of a Contingent Force comprising military, security, intelligence and civilian experts to support the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and directed the Chiefs of Defence and Security to assess the requirements, determine the appropriate size of the Contingent Force, and to prepare the modalities for the deployment,” reads the SADC Communiqué.