Re­spect ma­hao’s fam­ily

Lesotho Times - - Leader -

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.

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