MASERU — A 14 year-old boy from Maseru East was on Tuesday found hanging from a tree a few minutes after informing his grandfather he did not want to stay with him anymore. The deceased’s grandfather, Mpalipali Lerotholi, told the Sunday Express that the boy had hanged himself with a shoelace. He said the teenager left home last Saturday after claiming to have lost the money he had given him to buy stock for the family’s small business. “He left home on Saturday afternoon after he claimed to have lost M75 that I had given him to buy stock. “I told him to go back and find itbecause he had done this before but he would bring it back saying he had found it,” Lerotholi said.
He added that the boy left home before 8am that day but he came back around 2pm claiming that he had lost the money.
But this time the boy went away and disappeared for three days until he resurfaced on Tuesday morning. Lerotholi said he was planning to go and report the boy’s disappearance to the police when the teenager came back home. “I was standing on the veranda when I saw him coming home on Tuesday morning. He appeared from one of the neighbours’ yards,” he said.
“After exchanging greetings I asked him where he had been in the past three days and he told me that he had been looking for the money.”
Lerotholi said the boy told him that someone had promised to pay back the money at the end of the month. “I asked him to ask that person who promised to give him the money to come and see me but
he said the person wouldn’t agree to this.” Lerotholi added that he also asked the boy to go to his school to report that he was back as he had reported him missing to school authorities.
“But he would have none of that. He said he wouldn’t go to school to report and besides he had just come to collect his clothes because he did not want to stay with us anymore.”
The boy is said to have gone away again that morning. Lerotholi said he received a call later that afternoon from the teenager telling him that he wanted to talk to him.
“I asked two men who were maintaining my shack to join me as I wanted them to be there during our meeting,” he added.
During the meeting the boy said he had come to collect his clothes as he did not want to stay with Lerotholi anymore. The three men tried to talk him out of the idea but he insisted that he wanted to leave. Lerotholi said he tried to call the boy’s mother who stays in South Africa but she did not answer her phone. “I wanted to inform her about the current situation so that she could talk some sense into her son,” he said. Around 5:30pm a neighbour came to report to the family that the deceased had been found hanging from a tree. Lerotholi said they suspect his grandson could have planned to take his life because one of his children had earlier noticed him putting on unfastened shoes.
“My son asked him why he was not fastening his shoe laces and he told him not to worry about it.
“His teachers said he had told his classmates earlier that day he wanted some poison as he wanted to end his life,” he added. The boy is said to also have informed his friends that it was the last time they were seeing him. Lerotholi said they reported the matter to Pitso Ground Police Post.
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