Marafaele Mohloboli/Mohalenyane Phakela
FORMER cabinet minister, Temeki Tšolo, has accused his own All Basotho Convention (ABC) party of neglecting and failing the late Thabo Thakalekoala.
Mr Tšolo, who served as a minister in former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s office, said the ABC had failed Mr Thakalekoala by degrading him from the prime minister’s spokesperson and senior private secretary to the lowly position of a mere driver.
The Mafeteng legislator also blasted the ABC MPs for shunning Mr Thakalekoala’s memorial service even though the latter had worked hard for the success of the party.
The only ABC MPs who had attended Mr Thakalekoala’s memorial service on Friday at the MCC Memorial Hall in Maseru were party leader Thabane (Abia constituency), Samuel Rapapa (Mosalemane), Chalane Phori (Qoaling) and Mr Tšolo himself.
Mr Thakalekoala died on 28 December 2021 at the age of 59 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was laid to rest yesterday at Lepereng Cemetery.
Mr Thakalekoala served as Mr Thabane’s spokesperson during the latter’s first stint as prime minister from 2012 to 2015. He was also Mr Thabane’s spokesperson and later senior aide during his second stint as premier from June 2017 until he was forced to resign and make way for the current Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro in May 2020.
He had joined the ABC at its inception in October 2006.
At the time of his death, he was employed as a driver at the Lesotho Consular office in Johannesburg.
Speaking at Mr Thakalekoala’s memorial service, Mr Tšolo did not mince his words over what he said was the dismal treatment the ABC had accorded the former. The ill-treatment had contributed to Mr Thakalekoala’s death, Mr Tšolo charged.
“I am very disappointed by this service, just look at the attendance,” Mr Tšolo said.
“Thakalekoala worked very hard to build the ABC which is in government today.
“Only three members of parliament and a minister (Rapapa) are present. Thakalekoala’s death teaches us something; that one does not always benefit from the fruits of his hard work. A whole senior private secretary to the prime minister was degraded to a mere driver. That is shameful.
“Politics have not rewarded Thakalekoala. His story is a testament to the fact that you get stabbed in the back by those you helped flourish. Even though Thakalekoala may have died from natural causes, our politics had a hand in his demise,” Mr Tšolo said.
On his part, Mr Thabane said he had been close to Mr Thakalekoala and described his death as painful loss.
“I got to know him decades ago when I used to visit his family. He was one person who would tell it like it is. Whether the truth hurt you or not, that was not his problem. That is why I found him dependable and someone I could work with.
“It is painful to lose him. May his soul rest in peace,” Mr Thabane said.