HUNDREDS of Basotho gathered at the Maseru Border on Tuesday to welcome the bodies of the five Ladies Rugby players who were killed in a horror road accident in Free State on Saturday.
The five players Mpho Macheli, Mamello Moseme, Keketso Tšeuoa, Thato Mohai and Lerato Makelepa who plays for Mabote Beavers were on their way to Bloemfontein to play South African club, Mangaung Rugby Club.
Present at the border were legislators and government ministers among them Mokhele Moletsane (Justice and Correctional Service), Temeki Tšolo (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office), Thabang Mafojane (Motimposo legislator), Mabote legislator Faku Moshoeshoe, Minister of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation Leshoboro Mohlajoa and Sports Minister Mahali Phamotse. Also present were the Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli, Lesotho Sports and Recreation vice president Moipone Mashale, Lesotho National Olympics Committee and other government dignitaries.
There were also students from different schools where the deceased were attending the schools.
Upon arrival, the bodies were welcomed with a short service conducted by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) which left many in tears.
Phamotse said they bodies will be put in a mortuary at the Lesotho Funeral Services until the government has reached decision with the parents on how to proceed with the funeral arrangements.
“Now that the bodies have arrived, they will be kept at the Lesotho Funeral Services mortuary while the government engages the bereaved families on how to proceed,” Phamotse said.
According to Federation of Lesotho Rugby President, Fetang Selialia, the players were travelling in three cars when one of them, a 4X4 burst a tyre causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
“This is very sad for the rugby community. We lost four players on the spot while one later died in hospital.
“This is very painful especially because we are still introducing female rugby,” Selialia said.
On her part, Mashale said it was painful that all the players were of a young age while also expressing her fears that some parents may begin to bar their children from participating in sports.
“We have been pushing to see all associations include the girl child in sports and such experiences may lead parents to with occurrences like this, some parents may start blocking their children from participating,” Mashale said.
She said they are however, working with the government to see how far they can assist the bereaved families.
On behalf of the families Moseme Moseme who is a relative to Mamello said they were enduring a difficult time.
“This is very hard for us, you can just imagine letting your child to leave the house in the morning and when you are expecting them to return with good news you hear about such horrifying news.
“We were still expecting a lot from Mamello. She was only 17 and doing Form D at Lancers Gap High School, so you can imagine the pain that we are going through,” Moseme said.