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The late Disaster Management Authority (DMA) CEO ‘Makhotso Mahosi’s mother-in-law, ‘Mamahosi Mahosi, has no kind words for the country’s law enforcement agencies.
The grief-stricken ‘Mamahosi blames the system for failing to control gun possession and use, which has seen the wanton killing of innocent people over the years and convicts getting anyway with light sentences or suspects getting bail.
Mahosi (46) and her 11-year-old son were gunned down in cold blood at about 7pm on October 29, 2023 at their Ha Matala Phase I home in Maseru.
The family’s helper is fighting for her life in hospital after she was also shot during the harrowing incident.
Speaking exclusively to theReporter this week, a grieving ‘Mamahosi said she had many unanswered questions regarding the fatal shooting.
She said she does not understand why whoever shot dead her daughter-in-law did not spare the young boy.
“Why did they take my grandson’s life? At least they could have thrown him outside the house like they allegedly did with her driver,” she noted.
“I wonder how they sleep at night while being haunted by the screaming of a child being attacked with a gun,” said ‘Mamahosi as she tried to wipe tears running down her cheeks.
‘Mamahosi quoted a Sesotho phrase, “sejana se setle ha se jele”, (loosely meaning the best dish in the cabinet is the one that often breaks – good people do not live longer’.
‘Driver’s visit suspicious’
She said the family was hopeful that through the help of Mahosi’s driver who was reported to be at the scene during the horrific incident, the police will be able to apprehend the killers.
She added that the family was still puzzled as to why the deceased’s driver, who was not expected to report for duty on that fateful day but the following day, was reportedly at the scene.
“The question is, why was the driver in that house on a day he was off duty. Why did the killers decide to throw him outside the house while they shot the rest?
“These are the questions which we are asking ourselves and we believe the police will do their job to investigate and bring the attackers to book,” ‘Mamahosi said.
She said it was unfortunate that guns were being used to kill people in the country, especially in Mafeteng district, and suspects get light sentences or given bail by the courts.
It was regrettable that owning a gun in Lesotho was as simple as owing a cell phone, she bemoaned.
Poor voting blamed
‘Mamahosi further blamed it on voting. She said voters, including her, have been choosing authorities to enact laws that attract heavy sentences or sanctions for murders but there seems to be no change, yet they keep electing such undeserving people.
The heart-broken grandmother said it was alarming that women and children remain the most victims of guns in the face of weak law enforcement agencies, hence murderers take people’s lives knowing they will go free.
“I am only trying to be strong because I’m old. I was hoping my children will send me to my last resting place but I’m the one who is now supposed to bury them; it is sad. We are living in a sad country where killing is simple,” she added.
‘Mamahosi described Mahosi as a hardworking daughter-in-law. She was married to his son, Haretsebe Mahosi – a former Disaster Management Authority (DMA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the same position held by the deceased at the time of her demise.
She said Mahosi’s death has left her son with no hope of marrying again.
The deceased, Mahosi (‘Makhotso) Caroline Mohlabane (before marriage) was the second wife of Mahosi (Haretsebe), following the death of his first wife.
She leaves behind her husband and two step children, who ‘Mamahosi said were like ‘her own’.
‘Mamahosi further described her as a good mother and daughter-in-law.
Mahosi is also leaving behind her devastated mother, ‘Majeremeah Mohlabane of Matholeng in Mafeteng district.
“’Makhotso was a very strong daughter-in-law who was working hard for this family and making sure that I got whatever I wanted. She was taking care of my needs and everything, which is rare for most daughter-in-laws nowadays,” she said.
A grieving Mohlabane was not able to comment on her daughter’s death when this publication spoke to her on Wednesday during a visit to her Mafeteng home.
Mahosi was a key witness helping the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with investigations on the looting spree during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
She was facing charges of fraudulently awarding a M4 538 900 tender to a construction company belonging to one Pitso Ntsukunyane for construction of a bridge at Seboche, Botha-Bothe among other charges.
She was accused along with former principal Secretary (Ps) health, Lefu Manyokole and Ntsukunyane. The trio were released on M10 000 bail.
The late Mahosi and her son will be laid to rest on November 18 at Sephokong Ha Mahosi in Mafeteng district.
A memorial service will be held for them on November 15 at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre Maseru, according to a family spokesperson, Advocate Thulo Mahlakeng.
Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Kabelo Halahala yesterday said they were still investigating the murders. No arrests have been made yet.
Last week, police reported that Mahosi and her son were allegedly killed by two armed men who had forcefully entered her house immediately after her driver entered the house on that Sunday night. The name of the driver has not been revealed.
Killings follow army warning
The deaths come barely a month after the Lesotho Defence Force’s Major General Ramanka Mokaloba called for protection of witnesses in the PAC, saying he was aware they could be targeted.
Appearing before the PAC on September 11 2023, Major-General Mokaloba pleaded with the government to provide witnesses with protection.
He noted that there were reports of deaths of procurement officers in Cabinet due to the PAC investigations and hearings.
Major-General Mokaloba warned of more deaths should the government fail to provide the witnesses with protection.
“This process of investigating procurement officers is very serious. There are officers who have been killed and more are likely to die because clearly there is more that needs to be uncovered from procurement offices.
“Such matters should be handled with urgency and care and the witnesses should be protected,” Mokaloba had warned, without further substantiating his claims.