POLICE Minister Monyane Moleleki says he thanks God every day for the gift of life after enduring the potentially life threatening illness of cancer.
The Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader made the remarks yesterday during his 65th birthday celebrations at his Maseru home. Held amid much pomp and fanfare, the bash was attended by the who’s who of the seven-party coalition government, prominent personalities, family, friends and scores of DC members.
Among the attendees was Police Commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa, army commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli, Public Works and Transport Deputy Minister Mokhele Moletsane, DC Members of Parliament Lineo Molise Mabusela and Refiloe Litjobo, former Court of Appeal President Michael Ramodibedi and Advocate Salemane Phafane (Kings Counsel).
Mr Moleleki told the Sunday Express, in an exclusive interview, that the challenges he faced during his illness made him forget about the importance of enjoying life.
“Over the course my illness, I lost the appreciation for enjoying life because of the pain I was going through.
“There was a time during my sickness when I really wanted to die, but through the grace of God I am beginning to have the courage to hope for life and enjoy being alive,” Mr Moleleki said, adding that he actually turned 65 on Tuesday.
The minister said it was not in his nature to celebrate birthdays, adding that the party was the initiative of his family and friends.
“I don’t particularly like celebrating my birthday because I celebrate my life every day. I really enjoy life all the time and don’t find any reasons for celebrating only once a year,” he said.
“My family and friends imposed or sprung this party on me. This was actually a surprise party courtesy of my family, DC members and friends.”
Mr Moleleki said during his illness, he was unperturbed by people who celebrated his illness and wished for his death.
“I am a politician, and a politician needs to have a thick skin and not allow themselves to be depressed because of the hurtful words said about them,” he said.
“Ultimately, all our lives are in the hands of God and I am very thankful that I am still here today. I always encourage myself that people will say a thousand things about me as long as I am a politician.”
Asked if rumours that were doing the rounds in the country last week that he fled for South Africa fearing for his life were true, Mr Moleleki said: “I have always been here and never fled. I also heard about the rumours this week, but I want to assure you that I was always around.”
On the state of his health, the deputy leader said he is still on the road to full recovery.
“I generally feel fine, despite the fact that I get tired at times. I have been feeling better for quite some time now and looking forward to the future,” Mr Moleleki said.