‘He was special’

‘He was special’

MASERU-Thapelo Mokete always had an inkling that his father would die by a bullet and not through natural causes.
That was because his father, Rethabile Mokete, better known as Mosotho Chakela, had made “too many enemies that were vying for his blood”.

Feared and loathed in equal measure, Mokete was the kingpin of the Terene famo music gang that was always in mortal combat with a rival gang called Seakhi.
Mokete controlled the Terene famo gang with icy ruthlessness. Those who dared cross his path were quickly eliminated.

Mokete, who died on December 28 from a Covid-19 related illness, was laid to rest in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Monday.
“My father did not die like I expected, he was not killed but left through an act of God,” Thapelo said.
He said his father refused to surrender to his enemies and firmly believed that “those who kill by the gun will die by the gun”.

He admitted that his father had a lot of problems emanating from his controversial lifestyle.
While others saw his father as a ruthless gangster, he saw him as a decent, loving father who went out of his way to provide for his family.
“He was very important in our lives,” Thapelo said.
“The last photograph we took was when we were in Cape Town on vacation,” he said.

He said his father bought air tickets for the whole family to fly from Bloemfontein to Cape Town.
“I had never boarded an aeroplane before,” he said.
“He was special and will forever be.”
He said they never ran out of food or clothes as a family.

With his father gone, Thapelo says “our lives are going to be hard but we should all be good”.
He said his father loved Terene so much and would spend days on end away from his family, attending meetings with his members.
When he came home, he would come home loaded with bags of cash, he said.

He never bothered to ask his father how and where he made his money.
But an explosive affidavit filed by Deputy Police Commissioner Paseka Mokete in the High Court last year provides a sneak peek into how Mokete made most of his money – as a hired gunman.

DCP Mokete alleges that Mokete was promised M3 million by former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to eliminate his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane in June 2017.
He says Mokete and his fellow gang members were later paid M300 000 for executing the job.

At the time of his death, Mokete remained a wanted man for the brutal killing of Lipolelo Thabane.
Mokete’s brother-in-law, Mothibeli Sootho, told thepost that their brother’s death had left a big void in the family.

They never expected that he would be gone when he was still so young.
He said when one dies is God’s secret.
His uncle, Tsela Mokete, said his nephew was a talented musician.
He loved music and would always sing, he said.
He said Mokete was also talented in sports even though people thought he was naughty.

He said he then left them for South Africa where he started singing famo music.
“Surprisingly after a while we saw his records and realised that he was also into politics where we supported him as a family,” Tsela Mokete said.
He said Mokete passed through a lot of challenges in life even though he never lost hope.

He said he made lots of enemies even within his own famo gang.
“We raised a hero,” he said.
He said Mokete never went to school but became a key cog within the family in helping other family members grow.
He urged the Democratic Congress (DC) party to never forget Mokete, his children and family.

Mokete joined the DC mid-last year when he defected from the All Basotho Convention (ABC).
His friend, Bothata Mahlala, said he knew Mokete for over 20 years.
He said their friendship grew so much that they regarded themselves not just as friends but as brothers.

He said Mokete texted him on Boxing Day, two days before he died, saying they were “from the same blood”.
He said according to him Mokete was a “game-changer born to change lives of his family and other people’s families”.
He also said Mokete had a vision and “it is true that his children will never sleep without a decent meal”.

“He worked hard to achieve that,” Mahlala said.
’Malichaba Lekhoaba said they never expected Mokete to leave the world the way he did.
She said Mokete’s family should be consoled adding that only God can lead them.

Home Affairs Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa, the DC deputy leader, said the Mokete family should trust in God as he will be the one who can console them during this difficult time.
Mokete’s death comes at a time when his Terene famo gang is on the brink of a major split following the killing of one of his top lieutenants, Molefi Matima, late last year.
Matima was gunned down by another Mokete loyalist, Lelimo (The Cannibal).

Mokete had called for retaliatory attacks to avenge Matima’s killings.
Gang members from Matima’s home area of Ribaneng and nearby villages formed a splinter group to protect one another after Mokete’s instructions.
Mokete had later called for reconciliation.
He was however said to have struggled to maintain their loyalty.

Nkheli Liphoto

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