Respect mahao’s family
ELSEWHERE in this edition, the family of slain of former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander, Maaparankoe Mahao, has written a letter addressed to the Ministry of Defence and National Security principal secretary requesting the return of belongings on his person when he was killed.
Brigadier Mahao was shot by LDF members on the afternoon of 25 June 2015 just outside his Mokema farm ostensibly for resisting arrest.
The possessions, which include Brigadier Mahao’s phones, gun and spectacles, were allegedly being abused with calls, Whatsapp messages and emails being sent to family members and associates.
If true, these allegations paint a gory picture of callousness on the part of those in their possession. It would be a case of adding insult to injury to the Mahao family, which is still coming to terms with the untimely demise of their beloved son. Such behaviour can only be described as barbaric and should be condemned by all.
Even if Brigadier Mahao was suspected of leading an army mutiny, he was still a senior LDF officer and a former commander. he deserves respect not only as a soldier but as a human being.
Even the families of convicted murderers who have been executed are granted the courtesy of being given their relative’s possessions.
however, in this case Brigadier Mahao was never convicted of the alleged mutiny and the LDF owes it to his family and the nation to treat him with respect. The possessions might be small and seemingly inconsequential, but to the grieving family they mean a lot.
government’s lethargy and aloofness with regards to the Mahao debacle is well documented. After initially shrugging off his death as if it was a non-event, they later on claimed ‘”a soldier” was resisting arrest despite claims to the contrary by his two nephews who were with him that fateful day.
hopefully, government will move promptly to rein in those antagonising the hapless Mahao family and also ensure the return of the late former LDF commander’s possessions.
otherwise, they risk being accused of stoking tension and international outrage which saw Lesotho trending for all the wrong reasons.