Lesotho’s police minister has been arrested for failing to appear in court to face charges for flouting coronavirus lockdown regulations after he was seen buying alcohol, his office said Tuesday.
Buying and selling alcohol has been prohibited in the landlocked kingdom of Lesotho during a 24-day nationwide lockdown due to end at midnight Tuesday.
Minister Lehlohonolo Moramotse had been expected to be formally charged Monday by a magistrate after a video of him buying alcohol went viral a fortnight ago.
He was arrested during the day and held overnight at the police headquarters in the capital Maseru.
“I can confirm that the minister was detained at the police station last night,” police spokesman Mpiti Mopeli told AFP.
“He faces charge of violating lockdown regulations and illegal connection of water at his … home.”
Lesotho remains one of the very few countries, and the only one in the southern Africa, that has not reported a coronavirus case.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane ordered the lockdown on 29 March over fears the deadly virus could be imported from South Africa which completely surrounds the kingdom.
South Africa has so far recorded 3,300 cases.