Cleansing ceremony after priest’s arrest
THE head of the Anglican Church of Lesotho (ACL), Bishop Mallane Adam Taaso, yesterday held a cleansing ceremony at St James and St Mary Cathedral in Maseru after Sunday’s dramatic arrest of suspended Reverend Father Maieane Khaketla.
Rev Khaketla was arrested in the church’s sanctuary by police officers before being whisked to the Maseru Central Charge Office where he was locked up in a cell for three hours.
The cleric was released by the police to his lawyer and on Monday appeared before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court where he was referred to the office of the Maseru Urban Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola, without any charges being preferred against him.
According to church members, the cleansing ceremony, which consisted of burning incense and sprinkling holy water inside the church building, was meant to exorcise the building following the incident.
During the ceremony, Bishop Taaso led parishioners from the church compound into the cathedral. Among the congregants was Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing and Communications Minister Khotso Letsatsi.
In his sermon, Bishop Taaso said it was important for the congregation to participate in the cleansing ceremony since “the incident” affected everybody.
“We are gathered here today to ask God to cleanse this holy sanctuary which was tainted by our evil ways. The ceremony will help make the altar a sacred place once again. What happened affects us all, hence we do it in one accord,” he said.
Bishop Taaso then performed some rituals at the pulpit, table and other strategic places in the cathedral.
REVEREND Father Maieane Khaketla is led away following his arrest in this grainy picture taken by a mobile phone.