Motšo­motšo a long-serv­ing sol­dier

Lesotho Times - - News - Bereng Mpaki

SLAIN Lesotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Khoan­tle Paul Motšo­motšo, had a long and dis­tin­guished ca­reer from the time he joined the army in 1980.

His life was cut shot on Tues­day in a gun bat­tle at Ratjo­mose Bar­racks that also claimed the lives of Brigadier Bu­lane An­drew Sechele and Colonel Tefo Hashatsi.

Born on 9 Septem­ber 1960 at Ha Le­saoana Mal­iba Matšo in the dis­trict of Botha Bothe, Lt-gen Motšo­motšo joined the LDF on 18 De­cem­ber 1980.

Upon com­plet­ing his Ba­sic Mil­i­tary Train­ing, he was posted to the LDF Air Wing and there­after en­rolled for the Air­craft Ar­ti­san Course in the South African Air Force in Jan­uary 1991, where he grad­u­ated with a Tech­ni­cal Diploma.

Dur­ing the train­ing pro­gramme, he was de­ployed in sev­eral squadrons for the prac­ti­cal air­craft main­te­nance cour­ses.

He qual­i­fied as a Li­censed Air­craft In­stru­ments and Electrics En­gi­neer and re­ceived his qual­i­fi­ca­tion Air Crew badge in 1994 in South Africa. He re­ceived a type-rated Qual­i­fy­ing Air­craft Diploma from Seville in Spain and he was sub­se­quently pro­moted to the rank of lieu­tenant.

Lt-gen Motšo­motšo rose through the ranks and held nu­mer­ous line staff func­tional ap­point­ments in­clud­ing Deputy Air Wing Com­man­der and Chief Tech­ni­cal Of­fi­cer at the rank of Colonel.

There­after, he was ap­pointed Deputy Chief of De­fence Force and Chief of Staff at the rank of Ma­jor Gen­eral from 1 March 2012 to 1 De­cem­ber 2016.

He acted as LDF com­man­der from 21 Novem­ber 2014 to 26 May 2015 in line with the pro­vi­sions of the LDF Act no 4 of 1996 un­der the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord.

He was ap­pointed as the sub­stan­tive Com­man­der of the LDF on 1 De­cem­ber 2016 fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli.

He com­pleted a Joint Se­nior Staff Com­mand Course at the South African Air Force College in Pre­to­ria in 2008. He also at­tended nu­mer­ous cour­ses cover­ing a wide range of func­tional staff ap­point­ments, com­mand and con­trol as­pects.

He at­tended Civil Af­fairs Course at Ford Bragg in North Carolina (United States of Amer­ica) and also at­tended Africa Cen­tre for Strate­gic Stud­ies in Washington DC (USA). He was dec­o­rated with the fol­low­ing medals:

Mil­i­tary Medal for Gal­lantry, Mil­i­tary Medal for Brave Deeds, Mil­i­tary Medal for Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice and Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Medal.

He was mar­ried Chris­tian with five chil­dren and loved farm­ing, recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and read­ing.

Lt Gen Mot­so­motso de­fied a gov­ern­ment di­rec­tive to with­draw the army per­son­nel from then Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Science and Tech­nol­ogy Se­libe Mo­choboroane’s guard af­ter the lat­ter’s fired by Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane in 2014.

At the time, Lt-gen Mot­so­motso was the act­ing army com­man­der in line with the Maseru Se­cu­rity Ac­cord that was signed on 23 Oc­to­ber 2014. Un­der the ac­cord, LtGen Tlali Kamoli and Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao of the LDF, and Lesotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sioner, Khothatso Tšooana, were sup­posed to go to an African or Com­mon­wealth coun­try on spe­cial leave for spec­i­fied pe­ri­ods to al­low the restora­tion of cor­dial re­la­tions be­tween the army and po­lice.

By virtue of his po­si­tion as Com­man­der at the time of his un­timely death, Lt-gen Mot­so­motso, had a huge part to play in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SADC Com­mis­sion of In­quiry’s rec­om­men­da­tions with re­gard to re­forms to en­sure last­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in Lesotho.

The 10-mem­ber com­mis­sion was led by Jus­tice Mpa­phi Phumaphi of Botswana. It car­ried out its in­ves­ti­ga­tions be­tween 31 Au­gust and 23 Oc­to­ber 2015 and rec­om­mended, among other things, that gov­ern­ment should in­ves­ti­gate the killing and pros­e­cute those found to be re­spon­si­ble.

The late LDF com­man­der Lt-gen Khoan­tle Motšo­motšo (left) greets now act­ing LDF com­man­der Ma­jor-gen­eral Li­neo Poopa in this file pic.

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