Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Keiso Mohloboli

The fam­ily of slain for­mer Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) Com­man­der Maa­parankoe Ma­hao has writ­ten to gov­ern­ment de­mand­ing the “im­me­di­ate” han­dover of his cell­phones, firearm and spec­ta­cles.

The fam­ily says the where­abouts of the said as­sets was never re­vealed fol­low­ing the bri­gadier’s fa­tal shoot­ing by LDF mem­bers on 25 June 2015 out­side his Mokema farm.

Gov­ern­ment claims Bri­gadier Ma­hao was killed by the mil­i­tary while re­sist­ing ar­rest for al­leged mutiny, with the fam­ily in­sist­ing his shoot­ing was cold-blooded mur­der by “cow­ardly” LDF el­e­ments.

De­moted from Lieu­tenant Gen­eral to Bri­gadier as well as the LDF com­mand in May this year af­ter gov­ern­ment claimed his pro­mo­tion in Au­gust 2014 was illegal, his shoot­ing has since be­come the sub­ject of a re­gional in­quiry and a threat to the coun­try’s sta­bil­ity.

how­ever, the fam­ily is not happy that their late son’s mo­bile phone, gun and spec­ta­cles re­main with the gov­ern­ment more than one month af­ter his death and on Mon­day this week wrote a let­ter to the Min­istry of De­fence Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary (PS) de­mand­ing their sur­ren­der.

The fam­ily wants gov­ern­ment to han­dover “the equip­ment” to the fam­ily lawyer Ad­vo­cate haae Phoofolo with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

The let­ter, signed by broth­ers Qa­mako, Lehloenya and Ma­hao, fur­ther ac­cuses the LDF of mak­ing calls to fam­ily mem­bers us­ing the late Maa­parankoe’s mo­bile phones.

“The fam­ily has noted with con­cern that Gen­eral Ma­hao’s phones are be­ing mis­used by their un­law­ful cus­to­di­ans (LDF el­e­ments) who cow­ardly shot him on 25 June 2015. These el­e­ments con­tinue to make calls, what­sapps and emails to fam­ily mem­bers, friends and the public at large.

“We hope your of­fice (PS De­fence) will un­der­stand the se­ri­ous trauma caused by this bla­tant mis­use of Gen­eral Ma­hao’s equip­ment and that your of­fice will fa­cil­i­tate its han­dover to the lawyer’s fam­ily with im­me­di­ate ef­fect”.

Mr Qa­mako Ma­hao yesterday told the Le­sotho Times that it was “dis­turb­ing” for a teenage boy to re­ceive a call from his late fa­ther’s phone dur­ing the night.

“The boy has not an­swered the calls but mo­bile phones are smart be­cause they register missed calls. He has been re­ceiv­ing calls from his late fa­ther’s mo­bile phone and this is trau­matic for a young boy to get such calls.

“I don’t want to go into de­tails of the mes­sages other fam­ily mem­bers have been re­ceiv­ing through the same phones, for se­cu­rity rea­sons, but it is very fright­en­ing to re­ceive mes­sages from some­one you are still mourn­ing and try­ing to ac­cept that he is no more,” Mr (Qa­mako) Ma­hao said.

On their part, De­fence and Na­tional Se­cu­rity min­is­ter Tšeliso Mokhosi and the min­istry’s Deputy Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Pitso Makosholo yesterday told the Le­sotho Times that they had not re­ceived the Ma­hao fam­ily’s let­ter.

Broth­ers of the late for­mer LDF Com­man­der Maa­parankoe Ma­hao ad­dress the media in this file pic­ture.

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