LESOTHO’S High Commissioner to Canada, Ralechate ‘Mokose, has died at the age of 71.
The government said Mr ‘Mokose died in Canada in the early hours of Sunday.
Foreign Affairs and International Relations minister ’Matšepo Ramakoae expressed sadness at Mr ‘Mokose’s death. She said the repatriation process to bring his body back home had already started.
“We are saddened by Mr ‘Mokose’s sudden death,” Ms Ramakoae said, adding, “he served the country with dignity and dedication”.
“We recently had virtual meetings with him and he seemed well. It is therefore surprising that he is no more.
“We are awaiting results of his postmortem but processes to repatriate his body have already started. His body will be brought home despite the lockdowns in different countries. We will fetch his body from South Africa and bring him home,” Ms Ramakoae said.
Mr ‘Mokose was a member of the opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD). AD leader Monyane Moleleki said they would hold a memorial service in honour of Mr ‘Mokose when his body arrives in the country.
Mr Mokose was born in Kolonyama, Leribe on 24 February 1949.
He trained as a teacher at Morija Training College in 1974. In 1980, he acquired a Concurrent Certificate in Education from the National University of Lesotho (NUL) before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in English at the same university in 1981.
From September 1982 and December 1985, he was in political exile in eSwatini. This was during the time of the Basotho National Party (BNP) government led by the late Chief Leabua Jonathan.
On his return, he worked as an assistant teacher in various schools including Leribe Secondary School, Cana High School and Leribe High School. In January 1987, he was appointed headmaster at Leribe High School- a position he held until December 1991.
He joined the Ministry of Education and Training as chief inspector in January 1992 and served until July 1994.
Thereafter, he served as a diplomat in different SADC countries including South Africa where he was Lesotho’s High Commissioner until August 1999.
He was later transferred to serve in Denmark and other Nordic countries. He was also ambassador to Poland and the Russian Federation from August 1999 to October 2001.
He returned to Lesotho and served as a cabinet minister in different ministries such as Water Affairs; Forestry and Land Reclamation as well as Agriculture and Food Security between 2003 and 2016.
In 2016, together with the former deputy prime minister Monyane Moleleki, he left the Democratic Congress (DC) to form the AD.
The DC was then led by former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
In September 2017, he was appointed High Commissioner to South Africa before being transferred to Canada last year. He is survived by his wife Lijeng and three children.