The pain of rejection

The pain of rejection

MASERU – Reformed but rejected by his own, a Qoaling man finds jail more homely.
Notorious for housebreakings in his village, Sekoahelo Sekoahelo found religion in jail, hoping to put his newly acquired Christian values to good use once released.

But he has been forced to leave the country because his community could not welcome him back, suspicious that he still harboured his old habits.
Sekoahelo was arrested and sentenced to eight years behind bars for a trail of house breakings in Qoaling and surrounding villages in 1998.
In prison, Sekoahelo became a changed man and was a regular churchgoer.

Eight years later, he was released but the Qoaling community refused to accept him back because of the name he had made for himself before he went to jail. So it was that Sekoahelo became the chief suspect when a house was broken into one day. Angry villagers raided his home in search of the stolen goods. They found none.

He survived a violent backlash only because some of his neighbours came to his rescue and provided an alibi to convince the mob Sekoahelo was at home during the time of the robbery. Still, Sekoahelo was forced to guard the village at night together with some selected men because the residents were uncomfortable not knowing his whereabouts.

In prison, his church mates had embraced him and he was assured of a balanced diet every day.
Yet at home he was treated like an outcast, giving him no chance of getting the gainful employment he desperately needed to afford the diet and medication necessary to contain his HIV condition.

In the end, Sekoahelo left Qoaling village and is now in the South Africa’s Eastern Cape province where he is working on citrus farms.

Staff Reporter

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