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Hero’s send-off for Motšomotšo


. . . as govt to snub Hashatsi, Sechele burials

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE government has accorded Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motšomotšo a state funeral, with the slain Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander set to be laid to rest on Thursday in his home village of Ha Lesaoana, Malibamatšo in Butha-Buthe district.

However, the honour has not been accorded to Brigadier Bulane Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi, who fatally shot Lt-Gen Motšomotšo at his Ratjomose barracks office on Tuesday, with the government not involved at all in their funerals.

According to the government’s version of events on the fateful day, Brig Sechele and Col Hashatsi had confronted Lt-Gen Motšomotšo over the police’s investigation of three army officers implicated in the killing of a woman near the home of former LDF commander, Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli.

After Lt-Gen Motšomotšo explained that the investigation was being conducted in the spirit of implementing SADC decisions to probe LDF members implicated in acts of criminality, Brig Sechele allegedly pulled out a firearm and fatally shot the army commander.

Brig Sechele and Col Hashatsi were pummelled with bullets by Lt-Gen Motšomotšo’s bodyguards outside the office after they realised what had happened. Brig Sechele died on the spot, while Col Hashatsi died of his wounds in a nearby hospital.

According to Ministry of Defence and National Security Principal Secretary, Colonel Tanki Mothae, Lt-Gen Motšomotšo’s memorial service will be held at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru on Monday.

“Lt-Gen Motšomotšo will surely get a state funeral, while the other two officers will not get a similar send-off as they were rebellious and are therefore not deserving,” Col Mothae said in an interview with the Sunday Express yesterday.

He said Col Hashatsi and Brig Sechele’s funerals were the sole responsibility of their families.

“We don’t have the slightest idea when those two will be laid to rest since we are not involved in the preparations whatsoever,” he said.  “Their families are better placed to furnish you with the details. One thing is for sure; the government has no role to play in their funerals given their conduct.”

Lt-Gen Motšomotšo died four days before his 57th birthday, having been born on 9 September 1960.

Lt-Gen Motšomotšo joined the LDF on 18 December 1980. He was decorated with the following medals: Military Medal for Gallantry, Military Medal for Brave Deeds, Military Medal for Meritorious Service and Military Service Medal.

He was married Christian with five children and loved farming, recreational activities and reading.






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