‘Makarabo: the  tears and the agony

‘Makarabo: the tears and the agony

Family battles to cope with her ‘disappearance’……………..

MASERU – ’Makarabo Mojakhomo would have loved to be present to witness her little boy name her in a poem during his pre-school graduation ceremony.
Unlike other children at the ceremony, there was no mother to hug and kiss little Motlatsi Mojakhomo on the podium at Little Darling Pre-School. No one knows whether she is dead or alive.
As Motlatsi beautifully recited the poem, his father, Thabang, could not take it anymore. He wept, expressing regret that he could not protect his wife, who has not been seen in the public since she fell out with authorities after she was accused of swindling First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane’s Trust Fund.

“There is a saying that a man doesn’t cry. But I failed to contain my emotions. I failed to protect my wife,” Thabang says.
’Makarabo was last seen at a police station where she had gone under a painstaking interrogation. She was working at the Trust Fund.
She disappeared from the police on May 31 and has not been seen since.

The police say she escaped from lawful custody and have branded her a “wanted person”. Posters with her picture have been distributed.
Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli says he has set up a team to search for ’Makarabo.
On the other hand, the family fears the worst.
Motlatsi’s paternal grandmother ’Malebohang Mojakhomo sobbed with her son.
“I don’t want to think about that,” ’Malebohang says.
She said she felt for her son.

“He must have felt that it is only good for the child to be supported by both his parents like all other pupils who were at the graduations,” she says.
“He was overwhelmed by the feeling that all his four children even to date don’t know what happened to their mother. I saw him crying, I tried to be strong for him as a mother,” says ’Malebohang.
’Makarabo has four children, two girls and two boys.

The family is yet to inform Motlatsi’s two elder siblings aged 13 and 14 years who are attending school in South Africa.
“We have not told them what is happening and my fear is that they will find out before we tell them. We did not want to confuse them as they were about to write their final exams,” says ’Malebohang.

Motlatsi and his other seven-year-old brother, Kananelo, were told that their mother went to South Africa in search of employment.
“At the end they will know and we suspect they will not cope,” ’Malebohang says.
“I wonder why they didn’t allow her to stand trial at least, she didn’t kill anybody. There are people in this country suspected of bigger offences but they always go scot-free,” she says, insisting that she “expected First Lady ’Maesaia Thabane’s courtesy, which has been lacking”.

She added: “I wonder how a woman survives with the same clothes for that long if she is still alive, it’s even extremely cold lately, I wonder how she copes.”
The Mojakhomo family has asked the High Court to order the Police Commissioner to produce ’Makarabo dead or alive.
The family has not received any visit or a phone call from the First Lady’s office, she says.

’Malesole Letsie, sister to ’Makarabo, says her sister had been working as the Fund’s director from the inception of the project.
“We were told that ’Mathabang was ordered to wait outside on the corridor sitting on the chubb (in a case where cell keys are kept) and she ran away. I did not accept the explanation. I don’t accept it,” Letsie says.

“I have a feeling the police have something to do with this disappearance,” she says, battling to hide her emotions.
“What we are going through is not easy,” Letsie says.

The case is eerily similar to one that happened when the police exhumed a decomposed body of Constable Mokakekale Khetheng, who had disappeared from a police station in a similar fashion.
The police had denied any knowledge of Khetheng’s whereabouts.

Khetheng was arrested by the Leribe police in March 2016 and disappeared when he was supposed to go to court for a remand hearing.
The police’s response to the family was that he had escaped and they were looking for him.

His body was only discovered in August last year buried as a pauper at Maseru’s municipality graveyard.
Four police officers, including a senior superintendent, are now facing charges of abducting and killing Constable Khetheng – one of their own.
Former Defence Minister Tšeliso Mokhosi is facing similar charges in connection with the case.

Mokhosi and his alleged accomplices are denying the charge of murder.

Senate Sekotlo

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