(MENAFN- The Post) MASERU – FEARED and loathed in equal measure, Mokherane Tsatsanyane has always been an enigmatic and controversial figure.
And true to form, Tsatsanyane did not disappoint when he spoke at the burial of his close friend, Nako Motseko, in Ha-Pshatlella, in Qeme constituency, some 40km south-east of Maseru last Saturday.
Motseko was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen while coming from a political campaign two weeks ago.
Tsatsanyane, who is the MP for Stadium Area, launched a withering attack on his former All Basotho Convention (ABC) party accusing it of harbouring thugs who wantonly murder people.
Motseko was a member of the feared famo music gang Terene.
Tsatsanyane, who recently defected to the Democratic Congress (DC) party, said they would have avenged Motseko's death were they still in the ABC.
“If I was still in that bloodthirsty group I don't know what would happen to the murderers of Motseko,” Tsatsanyane said.
“But now that I am in the peace-seeking DC we will await the police to do their job.”
Tsatsanyane said he had known Motseko for years while they were serving together in the ABC. He said when he defected to the Alliance of Democrats (AD) earlier this year, he convinced Motseko to join him there too.
Tsatsanyane was to quickly fall out with his new comrades in the Monyane Moleleki-led AD and left to join the DC. Motseko joined him there too.
Tsatsanyane said he always found a way to convince his friend to join him wherever he went.
Tsatsanyane and Motseko had stayed behind in the ABC when the late Terene chief, Rethabile Mokete who was popularly known as Mosotho Chakela, defected to the DC last year.
A staunch ABC supporter, Tsatsanyane had last year vowed that he would not speak ill of his party and its leader Thomas Thabane even if he joined other political parties.
But all that was thrown into the bin last weekend when he launched a blistering attack on the ABC and its leadership.
He said the party had no interests in serving the people because it was always“planning murders”.
Tsatsanyane told hundreds of mourners, some clad in the DC's regalia while others wore the Terene colours, that he left the ABC because“it only works for the benefit of the elites”.
He told the mourners that he had found a new home in the DC.
He said when he fled into exile a few years ago, the ABC abandoned him, leaving him to rely on food handouts from party loyalists. The party did not care about his and other exiles' welfare, he said.
He said it was the Terene members who fed them and paid for their necessities when they were in South Africa.
He also said when the party members held music concerts to raise funds so that they could be fed, the ABC leadership diverted the money to other uses.
Tsatsanyane praised DC leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu for being a visionary leader who promoted peace.
He said he was also hurt after the ABC failed to show up at the burial of his father, Moeketsi Tsatsanyane, who died of Covid-19 two weeks ago.
He said his father played a big role in the success of the party by funding some of its activities. But instead of acknowledging that role, the party snubbed his father even in death, he said.
He said Temeki Tšolo, the ABC's MP for Mafeteng constituency, was the only senior party official who attended the funeral but in his personal capacity.
“Ntate Temeki Tšolo attended in his capacity as an individual,” he said.
Nteei Tšehlana, who is locked in a leadership wrangle with Sarele Sello, aka Lehlanya, for the leadership of Terene, said his gang will not seek revenge following Motseko's death.
“We will wait for the police to do their job,” Tšehlana said.
For many years, the trend has been that any murder of a senior famo gangster would be followed by a string of revenge killings, sometimes wiping out entire families.
Speaking at the funeral, Mokhothu said it was unfortunate that Motseko had been gunned down.
“It is unfortunate that some people are given just M20 to kill others,” Mokhothu said.
He said these killings are prompted by the joblessness and hunger in the country.
He said the country has fertile agricultural land, water and diamonds that could help this country escape out of poverty.
“We want all Basotho outside the country to come back home so that they work here,” Mokhothu said.
He said Motseko was a down-to-earth person who was also a hard worker.
With him at his side, he knew he was going to win the elections.
Mokhothu appealed to the Motseko family and friends not to avenge the death of their son and to give the police enough time to investigate the case and bring the perpetrators before courts of the law.
He said they are at an advanced stage to pass a law in parliament to ensure justice is served in the courts of law.
The ABC's spokesperson, Montoeli Masoetsa, dismissed Tsatsanyane's allegations on Tuesday adding it was a question of sour grapes.
Masoetsa said Tsatsanyane should provide the names of the people who are killers in the ABC.
He said he fails to understand why the ABC was voted with great numbers in 2017 if it is a party that is full of killers.
He also wondered why Tsatsanyane accepted a ministerial post after the 2017 elections if the ABC was that bad.
Masoetsa said Tsatsanyane is a convict who served his sentence in prison after killing a white person following a dispute over a car.
In 2001 Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla convicted Tsatsanyane of theft of a vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was murdered during the robbery.
Tsatsanyane was however never charged with murder.
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