They want me dead, says Chakela

They want me dead, says Chakela

MASERU – MOSOTHO Chakela, a renowned famo musician and leader of the Terene gang, says there is a plot to kill him.
Chakela, whose real name is Rethabile Mokete, said although he has always lived in fear he realised that the plot to kill him had thickened last Saturday when four armed men stormed his shop in Bloemfontein.

He said the men opened fire and shot one of his customers who is now battling for his life.
Chakela believes that the men were looking for him because he is usually at the shop on weekends.
He was however out of town when the attack happened.

“I was out performing somewhere outside Bloemfontein,” Chakela said in an interview with thepost.
The Terene leader however refused to say who he suspects might have marked him for death.
It could however be that he has fallen out with some of his former comrades or that he has rubbed some rival gang members the wrong way.
It might as well be part of the famo gang wars that have been raging for more than two decades.

The wars have left hundreds of gang members dead in what have long become tit-for-tat murders.
Most of the murder cases remain unsolved amid allegations that the police fear retaliations if they push their investigations beyond just visiting the scene and taking statements from potential witnesses.

As the bodies keep piling so do the cases, most of which make the headlines but curiously run out of steam when they have to move beyond the police’s incidences book.
Chakela said he has been receiving death threats from “people who call with a private number”.

About last Saturday, the musician said he was told that the gunmen ordered his customers to lie on the floor while they sprayed the place with bullets.
The attackers were not disguising their faces and Chakela said one of them was identified. He however refused to name the man, saying he doesn’t want to interfere with police investigations.
He said the intruders also shot at groceries on the shelves.

“Since I am still reeling from the shock I cannot exactly quantify the loss I have suffered but roughly I have lost about M140 000 because of the attack,” Chakela said.
“My fridges and accordion were also sprayed with bullets during the attack.”
A new accordion can cost as much as M18 000 while these fridges cost around M12 000 depending on their sizes, he said.
Chakela said his business normally picks up during month-ends.

And since the shop has been closed for the past few days he has lost about M100 000.
The police are patrolling the area while investigations are continuing.
Chakela explained that after the attack the four men sped off in a car whose number plate was recorded by witnesses and handed to the police.
The musician said he fears his enemies are now targeting his allies as a way to get to him. For instance, on Sunday night, a day after the attack in Bloemfontein, three Terene members were fatally shot in Soweto at a stokvel.

According to Chakela one of the men identified in the Bloemfontein incident also took part in the Soweto killings.
Asked what might be the cause of the incessant attacks, Chakela said he too is surprised.
He said he has seen attacks in the past but not of this kind.

“I can now only trust in God to protest me,” he said.
Chakela said some of those who call him tell him that he will be a dead man soon.
“Someone called me on the phone saying he was ‘Li-worry’ from Matelile in Mafeteng and he wants to kill me but surprisingly ‘Li-worry’ is my other nickname.”
Li-worry means worries.

Although Chakela is loath to give details thepost has been told of a looming escalation in the famo gang wars. Historically, there is an uptick the famo-related murders when there is a power battle or a split in the gangs. A split creates new battles for turf and triggers revenge attacks.

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