Two Lesotho nationals are accused of assaulting a countryman, pouring petrol on him and setting him on fire. The motive for the attack is not known, but the victim, Matee Mpiti, 40, later succumbed to his injuries.

Police managed to trace the suspects, Khauta Mohaladi, 32, and Molifi Makgalemele, 29, in Meqheleng on Sunday and charged them with murder.

They appeared in the Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and the case was postponed to October 26 for bail applications.

Brigadier Motansi Makhele, Free State Police spokesperson said witnesses said they were on their way to the shop with Mpiti, a herdsman in Meqheleng, when they met a group of men who attacked them with sticks.

The witnesses managed to escape but Mpiti was unable to.

The attackers allegedly caught him, poured petrol over him and set him alight. He said “His body was found torched at an open space between Extension 11 and Zone 8 on Saturday the 17 October 2020. The motive for the killing is currently unknown.”

Makhele added that the suspects were in custody.

Last month, three Lesotho nationals were found beaten to death on a farm in Fouriesburg, Free State.

Police said at the time they suspected they were beaten to death by assailants with knobkieries as several of them were found at the scene.

A witness told the police the victims had earlier that morning been seen with three police officers, allegedly from Lesotho.

They were apparently following information about stock theft that occurred in Lesotho, Makhele said at the time.