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High Commissioner ‘Mokose laid to rest

Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE late High Commissioner to Canada, Ralechate ‘Mokose, will be remembered for his dedication to improving Basotho’s lives, His Majesty, King Letsie III, said yesterday.

King Letsie III made the remarks at the funeral service of Mr ‘Mokose in Kolonyama on Friday.

The service was also attended by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, former premier Thomas Thabane and his wife ‘Maesaiah among others.

Mr ‘Mokose died on 13 September 2020 in Canada. The cause of his death has not been made public.

Speaking at his funeral service, King Letsie III said, “we all know the kind of man he was and what he did in his life for the betterment of Basotho and for the country”.

“Even in this moment of hurt, we should thank the Lord because he loved us so much that he gave us Mr ‘Mokose. In this moment of loss, we thank Mr ‘Mokose for the service he has been giving Basotho for several years.”

The King said everyone who knew Mr ‘Mokose knew that he was a hard worker who ensured that he did things by the book.

“In Mr ‘Mokose’s last sleep, we thank him for his dedication to this country. He gave a lot to this country.

“I knew him while we were still students at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and vividly remember how dedicated he was to the university’s politics and that never changed when he started serving Basotho,” His Majesty said.

On his part, Dr Majoro said Mr ‘Mokose had a rare skill of listening to every opinion. He said he was an accomplished diplomat who leaves a void which would be difficult to fill.

“Today we are surrounded by darkness on the passing of this giant who died while serving in Canada where His Majesty had sent him.

“It is hurting that he died after just a short illness and his family never had a chance to be with him during his last days.

“We have lost a disciplined, experienced and dedicated citizen. We will miss his commitment to uplifting the underprivileged in our societies,” Dr Majoro said.

Mr ‘Mokose was born in Kolonyama, Leribe on 24 February 1949.

He trained as a teacher at Morija Training College in 1974. In 1980, he acquired a Concurrent Certificate in Education from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English at the same university in 1981.

From September 1982 and December 1985, he was in political exile in eSwatini. This was during the time of the Basotho National Party (BNP) government led by the late Chief Leabua Jonathan.

On his return, he worked as an assistant teacher in various schools including Leribe Secondary School, Cana High School and Leribe High School. In January 1987, he was appointed headmaster at Leribe High School- a position he held until December 1991.

He joined the Ministry of Education and Training as chief inspector in January 1992 and served until July 1994.

Thereafter, he served as a diplomat in different SADC countries including South Africa where he was Lesotho’s High Commissioner until August 1999.

He was later transferred to serve in Denmark and other Nordic countries. He was also ambassador to Poland and the Russian Federation from August 1999 to October 2001.

He returned to Lesotho and served as a cabinet minister in different ministries such as Water Affairs; Forestry and Land Reclamation as well as Agriculture and Food Security between 2003 and 2016.

In 2016, together with the former deputy prime minister Monyane Moleleki, he left the Democratic Congress (DC) to form the Alliance of Democrats (AD).

The DC was then led by former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

In September 2017, he was appointed High Commissioner to South Africa before being transferred to Canada last year. He is survived by his wife Lijeng and three children.

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