A little angry nation

A little angry nation

MASERU – IS anger taking over in Lesotho?
This is the question that police and many locals are grappling with following the latest spate of anger-induced killings.
A man was stabbed to death last Saturday night as he tried to separate two men who were fighting in Morifi in Mohale’s Hoek.
The men were from the same village of Ha-Rakoloi in Morifi area.

Police say they have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the stabbing. The suspect has not been charged pending finalisation of police investigations.
Following the stabbing, police say they are appalled with the way anger seems to be clouding rational thinking.
Many of the altercations that are resulting in the killings could have been solved by reporting to the police or through dialogue, but people seem intent on taking matters into their own hands.
“People kill or fight each other every day over minor things like not sharing the same political views or over famo gangs among others,” said police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli.
Superintendent Mopeli cited several incidents that point to an angry nation.

Less than a month ago, angry villagers attacked a man they accused of killing a 49-year-old woman and stealing M25 000 she was keeping on behalf of an informal village fundraising association in Hlotse, Leribe.
The woman, who was found dead in her house, was buried two weeks ago.
Angry and armed with weapons such as sticks and axes, the villagers marched to the home of the 39-year-old suspect. When they did not find him at home, they torched his two-roomed house.
His suspected accomplice, a 45-year-old woman from the same village, rushed to the police for help after learning that the mob was coming for her.
They set her eight-roomed house on fire.

“Three men have been arrested and investigations are still in progress,” Superintendent Mopeli said.
In another case, 26-year-old Maramahane Khalanyane from Semenanyane in Thaba-Tseka killed a 33-year-old man from the same village he suspected of being in an affair with his wife.
Superintendent Mopeli said Khalanyane fatally stabbed the man at a local bar.

Khalanyane appeared before the Thaba-Tseka magistrate’s court on October 31, while his case is being prepared to go to the High Court in Maseru.
In another incident last month, a 32-year-old man from Qoaling in Maseru stabbed a 69-year-old woman with a knife after having quarrels over a site in the area.
According to Senior Inspector Rantoane Motsoetla, the man allegedly went straight to the police after stabbing the woman.

Motsoetla said the woman was taken to Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries from the knife attack.
The cases just illustrate that anger that leads to violence covers the whole country.
Superintended Mopeli said many of the cases were baffling.

A few months ago, some men in Rothe moved from house-to-house killing women when they could not find their husbands at home in a deadly gang violence attack.
Five women were shot dead, in what police said was one of the worst violent acts associated with famo gangs.
A Maseru-based counsellor, Phakiso Moleko, said the anger induced killings were a result of idleness.

“Busy people rarely take to heart things that are meant to provoke them into a fight,” Moleko said
“They just push them at the back and continue with what they are doing. By the time they rest and things that happened to them come back to mind, they are calm enough to act rationally,” he said.

Moleko said some of the violence was a result of bad advice. He said sometimes people who are emotionally hurt want to confide in someone, but they choose confidants whose actions may cause more outrage. “If Person A is being ill-treated in the family, maybe by his sister, he puts his trust in his parents thinking that they will help him. If the parents decide to take the side of his sister, Person A’s anger becomes deep,” he said.

He advised people to refrain from heated arguments.
“You will end up raising your voices and interrupting each other. When words fail, hands will complete the argument,” said Moleko, adding that people should seek professional help from psychologists.

“It is not a bad thing to admit that you are easily provoked. It will be easier for you to seek professional counsel,” he said.
Another counsellor, Teboho Lekhotsa, said crimes of passion were on the increase because people no longer believed in dialogue.
In the past, people would resolve issues of infidelity through dialogue, said Lekhotsa.
“But that has changed nowadays,” he said, adding that anger, like most conditions, can be treated.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane & Tokase Mphutlane

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