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key weekend for Bantu,Lioli



Maseru – This weekend the Vodacom Premier League plays its last round of games before a break for the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 next week. For the title chasing trio of Bantu, Lioli and Kick4Life this weekend represents a chance to maintain momentum in the championship race.

But, will it be a weekend of shocks with teams having one eye on the lucrative LNIG Top 8?

Bantu, who are the Vodacom Premier League log leaders have amassed a total of 33 points from 15 games which is a massive improvement from the terrible season they endured last season when the Mafeteng giants finished seventh.

The introduction of South African coach James Madidilane at the beginning of this campaign has fuelled a winning mentality within the squad and Bantu are in pole position to win the league.

Defeat to Matlama three weeks ago slightly opened the door for chasers Lioli and Kick4Life but ‘A Matšo Matebele’ are in high spirits after thumping relegation threatened Butha-Buthe Warriors 6-1 in Maputsoe last weekend.

It is hard to pinpoint any weaknesses within a squad that boasts such quality from the starting 11 to the bench.

However, Madidilane has previously complained about lack of communication among his players which is one aspect they will need to improve on because one wrong move and Bantu could find themselves compromised in the title race.

On Saturday, Bantu travel to Roma to face Rovers who are third from bottom.

All odds are against a Rovers team fighting for survival but Madidilane has previously warned that each game Bantu play is like a cup final. With the pressure to keep their position on top mounting, ‘A Matšo Matebele’ know one wrong move could be disastrous.

A tough battle awaits defending champions Lioli against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) this weekend as the battle for the title continues to get tense between the top three teams.

‘Semunye’ have one of the best defensive records in the league having conceded only nine goals this season and ‘Tse Nala’ know LMPS will not be a walk in the park, especially at their PTC fortress.

At this stage, none of the top teams wants to lose points; however, title rivals Bantu and Kick4Life arguably have more winnable games compared to Lioli this weekend. With the club preparing for the CAF Champions League in two weeks’ time, LMPS presents a timely challenge for Lioli.

Halemakale Mahlaha’s charges are coming off a hard-fought 1-0 victory over northern rivals Linare last weekend and will be buoyed by the win.

Lioli’s confidence will also be heightened by the quality they possess upfront which means they should be able to unlock LMPS’s tight defence. Also to their advantage, ‘Tse Nala’ know former captain Basia Makepe, now a mainstay in LMPS’s defence, and his style of play.

Fifth-placed LMPS only have one weakness coming into this game which is scoring goals. ‘Semunye’ have only has managed to find the back of the net 14 times in 15 games this season which is the worst record amongst the top seven teams in the league. LMPS average just one goal a game this season and that already appears to be an advantage for a Lioli team that has scored 16 goals in their last six matches.

Kick4Life have surprised a lot of people this season. Most observers thought the Old Europa side would be out of the title by now, but in every game they have proved themselves as real title contenders. There is no pressure for Kick4Life to win the league which is what makes them even more dangerous.

Head coach Leslie Notši has repeatedly mentioned that his charges are enjoying the moment and playing their best football. And, with the January signings of Khubetsoana Kamela and Likano Teele, they have showed their intentions to do better than securing a top four finish.

Their opponents on Saturday are Likhopo who picked up their first point since last October when they played a 1-1 draw with LMPS last weekend.

However, Kick4Life still face Likhopo at a good time. The club is in disarray and the ‘Red Army’ have lost several key players with the most recent being striker Lehlomela Ramabele.

Kick4Life, on the other hand, have plenty of firepower and are the league’s top scorers with 30 goals from 15 games. More importantly, they will be pleased with the return to goalscoring form of club top scorer Thabiso Brown. His goals may be the crucial ingredient Kick4Life need in the final run of this tight championship marathon.

Weekend fixtures:


LMPS vs. Lioli (PTC)

Rovers vs. Bantu (Roma)

Likhopo vs. Kick4Life (LCS, time to be confirmed)

LCS vs. Liphakoe (LCS, time to be confirmed)


Sundawana vs. LDF (Maputsoe DiFA Stadium)

Matlama vs. Butha-Buthe Warriors (Maseru)

Sky Battalion vs. Linare (LCS)

Luciah Phahla

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Dicing with death



MASERU – spinning is a motorsport that originates in South Africa.


The pastime started in the 1980s in the country’s townships and was used mainly by gangsters as a way to show-off their stolen cars.


In the subsequent years, the sport has grown in popularity in South Africa’s neighbouring country and it has made its way to Lesotho.


Although spinning competitions are not held regularly in Lesotho, they always come with a huge fanfare and hundreds of supporters normally flock to its venues to watch drivers spinning, drifting and doing stunts.


It is a loud and mostly dangerous sport that has been labelled as the world’s most reckless sport.


It’s not just any car that is used in spinning, there are special cars that favourties for entertaining crowds.


The BMW 3-series famously known as Gusheshe owing to the brusque sound its engine makes are designed for the spin. Spinning enthusiasts say that BMW 3-series cars can be manipulated and their engines maintained easily.


Lately other people have started to opt for the V8 Toyota which they sport with BMW wheels.


In Lesotho, the shows are held at various places, including the Masianokeng filling station in Maseru. In 2021, Seisa Mohapi left the crowd yearning for more thrills, stunts and spins at Makoanyane Barracks and he emerged as a local favourite.


He has since gone on to make a career out of car spinning and because of the lack of competitions in Lesotho, Mohapi has to travel outside very often to compete.


Today, Mohapi, who is one the most famous spinners in Lesotho, is preparing for the Battle of the Nations competition to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 29.


He is not a newbie to the competition. Last year he was the only Mosotho competing against drivers from the host country, Eswatini and Botswana.


One fascinating fact about Mohapi is that he was not into spinning cars until a friend urged him to join the sport because of his fast driving. Mohapi insists, however, that when he is driving on the road he is not as fast as he is on the track.


He may now be a well-recognised spinner, but it was a difficult road. Getting invitations to South African competitions was mission impossible in the beginning because the sport was not recognised in Lesotho.


The best Mohapi managed was competitions in Bloemfontein and Thaba-Nchu, before he eventually started getting invites to big events.


In 2018, he received his first invitation to attend big spinning events in Villiersdorp, Western Cape, and now the rest is history. He has travelled to several countries including Eswatini and Botswana.


Mohapi remembers: “(My friend) gave me an idea that you already have speed, if you can spin, you can do it well. From there I started spinning on the streets until we started taking it seriously, (we are) hosting events and joining spinning groups.”


When Mohapi is not throttling cars on weekends, during the week he has an office job at the Ministry of Social Development. He says his routine is between his job and spinning.


It is a costly passion.


Motorsport is one of the most expensive sports in the world because it requires fully operational engines and such are costly. Mohapi has no sponsor, he bears all the costs when it comes to his car. Luckily for Mohapi, he can repair cars which means the costs of fixing have not weighed as heavily on him as they otherwise would have.


“Even though spinning is a very expensive sport, I am still fully self-sponsored and it does not cost much on my pocket because I know how to repair cars. So, this is different to someone who waits on engineers when their cars crash,” Mohapi says.


“Because these cars are being used heavily, they kill engines a lot. The cheapest engines range from M3 000 to M4 000 so if you are buying them regularly it becomes expensive. The (engine) I am using is about M18 000 to M20 000 – I am hoping spinning will be recognised as a growing sport,” he continues.


In spinning contests, it is the host’s responsibility to provide participants with tyres, while the participants should make sure that their rims are fit for the performance. Many drivers have earned themselves a reputation with drifting, but that is not the case with Mohapi.


He enjoys spinning and doing stunts most and that has become his trademark.


“For the spin to be performed best, it requires skills,” Mohapi says.


“Some can draw the interest of the audience and some just drift and confuse the audience. When the audience cannot capture what you are doing, they keep themselves busy by buying refreshments,” he adds.


There is a difference between spinning and drifting. Spinning which is more popular is when drivers lock their cars into a spin and screech tyres and make clouds of smoke. They then climb out of the car to perform stunts while spinning.


Meanwhile, the internet defines drifting as a driving technique where the driver intentionally over-steers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner.


The technique causes the rear slip angle to exceed the front slip angle to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn. For example, if the car is turning left, the wheels are pointed right or vice versa.


Mohapi says spinning is all about entertainment, no one can be considered a winner, the only way to know if you did well is by the crowd’s reaction to your performance. South Africa is now preparing to host bigger spinning events in which there will be prize money given to participants who impress, and he says he is looking forward to it.


“All I can say is Basotho should support spin because their kids love it,” Mohapi enthuses.


“Their kids must know there is someone in Lesotho who spins and his name is Seisa. At these events there are really a lot of kids, it brings happiness to them.”

Relebohile Tšepe

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Bereng raring to go



MASERU – Likuena star midfielder Tshwarelo Bereng says it’s good for Likuena to go in the match against star-studded Zambia as underdogs despite winning the last encounter between the two countries.


The two southern African countries will face-off in back-to-back matches of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium and Dobsonville Stadium on March 23 and 26 respectively.


Motebang Sera was the hero in the last match at the COSAFA Cup beating Kennedy Mweene twice to become Likuena’s all time leading goal-scorer in the regional tournament with six goals.


Bereng, who now plays his football for Eswatini giants, Mbabane Highlanders, makes a return to the Likuena squad since last year’s goalless draw against Ivory Coast, where he was an unused substitute.


“Look, it will be a totally different ball game to the one when we last played at the COSAFA Cup and they also know that it’s not going to be a walk in the park for them,” the midfielder said.


“We just have to approach the game with the same mindset we had against them two years ago in Port Elizabeth, which was self-belief and playing to our strength.”


Bereng, who had a long career playing in South Africa for the likes of Moroka Swallows, Chippa United and Black Leopards, admitted that Zambia are favourite on paper going into the two matches, but is adamant they can cause an upset like they did in holding star-studded Ivory Coast to a goalless draw.


“Of course, on paper they are favourites because they have a lot of players playing abroad such as Patson Daka of Leicester City, but like I said, self-belief is very important at this level of football,” Bereng said.


“I think for me it’s very good to be labelled underdogs, it takes the pressure away from us and gives us room to surprise them.


“They are going to be to tough games, but we have been there before and we know what we have to do to improve our position if we are to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.


Likuena will host Eswatini in a training match this Thursday as both countries fine-tune their preparations for the upcoming 2023 Afcon matches.


Mikia Kalati

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Free show for football fans



MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has opened its gates to Basotho who want to watch the national team Likuena today. Lesotho hosts Eswatini this afternoon at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena in their last friendly match before they fly to Zambia.

This training match is part of Likuena’s preparation for the back-to-back 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Zambia in two weeks’ time.

Three weeks ago, Lesotho coach Veselin Jelusic and his charges travelled to Malawi for a friendly match which ended with a 1-1. At the time the Serbian coach said he wished for more games and today’s match will surely come in handy as it will help him to fine-tune mistakes Likuena made against Malawi.

The first leg match of the AFCON qualifier against Zambia will be played at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on March 23, with the return leg set for Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on March 26th. Lesotho needs to win at least one of the two games to stand any chance of qualifying.

After two AFCON qualifying games, Likuena are bottom of Group H which also includes Comoros and Ivory Coast.

Like Likuena, Eswatini is also preparing to take on Cape Verde in their AFCON qualifying campaigns on March 24 and 28 respectively.

LEFA has invited Basotho to come and watch their team free of charge as this could be their last chance to watch Likuena on their home soil until Setsoto Stadium is upgraded to meet international standards.

Because of the unavailability of the national stadium Likuena have been forced to play their home matches in South Africa.

Likuena lost 2-0 away to Comoros in their opener but played to a spirited 0-0 draw with giants Ivory Coast at ‘home’. Both games were played last June.

Two of Likuena’s foreign based players have already joined up with the team. Lead striker Motebang Sera, who is still recovering from a minor injury that side-lined him for his South African premiership club Royal AM, is with the team. He missed his team’s 5-1 clobbering by Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday. Tšoarelo Bereng, who is also based across the border, is another one that is now in camp with Likuena.

Richards Bay striker Katleho Makateng is yet to link up with the team, he is expected to be part of the Richards Bay squad that will take on TS Galaxy in the DSTV Premiership in Mpumalanga on Sunday. He will be allowed to join Likuena after and is expected to be a key figure against Zambia.

Tlalane Phahla

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