Tributes pour in  for judge

Tributes pour in for judge

MASERU-Lebohang Aaron Molete, a judge and lover of fruits, animals, softball and reggae has died. He was 61.
His family said he died on May 30.

The family described him as an adored husband, cherished brother to his two siblings, loving father and uncle, mentor and friend.
He collapsed on a passage in his home as his wife helped him to the toilet in the wee hours of Saturday. He was certified dead on arrival at Willies Hospital.

Molete enrolled at St James Primary School until 1970 and proceeded to St Stephen High School in Mohale’s Hoek.
He graduated from the National University of Lesotho with a first class first division in Bachelor of Arts in Law (BA Law) in 1980.
He also acquired a Bachelor of Law (LLB) in 1982.

He dedicated his career to Webber Newdigate for 18 years, first as a detached lawyer serving articles and ended up being a partner.
This was followed by many years of being a respected and compassionate judge of the High Court serving on the commercial bench.
Away from the Bench, the son of the late Botlhoko and ’Malebohang Molete owned a farm atop Berea Plateau in Thuathe where he had an orchard, doves, cats and dogs.

His sister, ’Mamonaheng Mohola, said his dedication and remarkable work in commercial transaction cases led to his appointment as a judge.
She said that he was the Judiciary Training Committee Manager and he mastered that job as well.

Mohola said that his death “came as a shock as they thought he had recovered.”
“We even forgot that he was sick as he had already returned to work,” she said.

She described her brother as humble, generous, respectful and dignified.
Mohola said that she will always remember him for his humility.
“Everything about him was so special,” she said.
His death has left his wife heartbroken, she said.
“They (the wife and son) are trying to cope,” she said.
Advocate Thulo Mahlakeng, leader of the Basotho-land Congress Party (BCP), said he had known the late judge since 1978 when he joined the NUL and he was already in his third year.

He said he was one of the best, Advocate Mahlakeng said.
“Hei! Ntate Molete was very thorough in his work. It will be so difficult to replace him. We are very shocked that a life of such a devoted man had to end so fast,” said Advocate Mahlakeng.

His friend, Popane Lebesa, a former trade minister and diplomat, said they had always been close since primary school.
He said Justice Molete was “a very intelligent friend but who wouldn’t boast about it”.
“I admired his resilience and consistency when approaching things,” he said.

He said he was passionate about the overall development of the judiciary.
“My friend was so enlightened in the field of law.”
“He was not a comedian but he was such a pleasure. Every time I was around him I would burst with laughter,” said Lebesa.
He said his friend loved softball and they had been playing it since they were students until they formed a team which played against international teams.

He said the late judge took him by surprise when he bought a farm and paid so much attention to it.
“I couldn’t pick that he loved it,” he said.
Lebesa said he will always honour the late judge’s memory by framing and decorating his house with the three artistic pictures of Meshu Mokitimi, a renowned artist, he got from Justice Molete a decade ago.
Another friend, Advocate Lebohang Maema KC, who is the Parliament Clerk, said the late judge had a passion for music.
“We were like siblings. He was a sociable person who loved reggae music,” Advocate Maema said.

Advocate Maema said the late judge’s dedication to farming rubbed on him that he bought two fields.
“Hopefully I will own a farm as well,” he said.
His neighbour, ’Matšitso Sekete, had nothing but good words for the man she regarded as a father.

“He was not just a neighbour. We considered him as our father as he was always there for us,” she said.
She said their families were so close that they updated each other about their whereabouts most of the time.
“His death has robbed us, it has left us powerless,” said Sekete.

’Mapule Motsopa

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