Ntsu Mokhehle:  dead and forgotten

Ntsu Mokhehle: dead and forgotten

All congress parties, even those formed after the death of Dr Ntsu Mokhehle, claim to believe in his ideology and also claim to all be bana ba ntate Ntsu (the children of Ntate Ntsu).
However, what baffles me with these bana ba ntate Ntsu is that they never care much about his legacy. The only time they sing his praises and tell us how much he suffered for this country to restore democracy is during election time. Otherwise, its business as usual with no one remembering him.

2018 was the year when Nelson Mandela, if still alive would have turned a 100-years-old. The African National Congress, in collaboration with the government, made sure we remembered this struggle icon and the role he played in bringing apartheid to an end.

Celebrations in his memory were the order of the day from July 18, till the end of the year.
Back home, the same 2018, December, 26 the late Dr Ntsu Clement Sejabanana Mokhehle, founder and long-time leader of the BCP and founder of the LCD would have also turned 100.
Mokhehle, was born in a village called Ha Mokhehle on the outskirts of Teyateyaneng town. He was a University of Fort Hare graduate. The university is an institution where his love for politics was born and nurtured.

Just like his peer Nelson Mandela, he served only one very hectic term at the helm of the Lesotho government from 2 April to 17 August 1993 and from 14 September 1993 to 29 May 1998.
His tenure in office was not a smooth one as his government was at some point toppled.

Mokhehle eventually succumbed to long illness on 6 January 1999. I am of the view that for the congress cadres, December 26 and January 6 should be regarded as important dates as they mark important milestones in the journey of the Godfather of the congress movement.

However, I was surprised to see December 26, as an ordinary day just like any other to the congressmen. The question that came to my mind was: Where are bana ba ntate Ntsu to flourish and shower him with memorial lectures? Where were any kinds of celebrations held in his honour by those that claim to be his descendants? Did I miss the memo to go to his birth place to celebrate with his people? Such a milestone?

Then I quickly remembered that the only time the cadres that call themselves congress diehards endlessly talk and preach about Dr Mokhehle is when they are campaigning for elections.
The reason being they use his name and his struggles to emotionally blackmail the masses that believed in him. They remind the electorate of how badly he suffered during the Dr Leabua-led government and how bad the Nationalists are for the security and economic development of this country.

As soon as the elections are on the horizon, all the congress parties, including the BCP that shamelessly pushed Ntsu Mokhehle out of the party he built with his sweat and blood, start singing praises on how good and heroic Mokhehle was. However, since his centenary does not coincide with any election, nobody has cared to remember him.

Nobody felt it necessary to hold countrywide celebrations in honour of this heroic comrade that dedicated his life to fighting for democracy in Lesotho.
After all, he is dead and forgotten. It is still not too late for all the congress splinter parties to do right by remembering their leader and founder. Celebrate Ntsu Mokhehle. After all, you are what you are today because of the sacrifices he made.

By: Kelello Rakolobe

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