ABC vows to avenge Tšosane’s death

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‘Our enemies’ families must cry the way we are crying today; we can’t let horrific crimes like this go unpunished’ declares ABC legislator Fako Moshoeshoe

Keiso Mohloboli

The All Basotho Convention (ABC) has vowed to avenge the death of businessman Thabiso Tšosane who was shot dead by an unknown assailant as he ferried his workers home last Saturday.

Mr Tšosane was a staunch ABC member and speculated in several businesses such as construction, public transport and vehicle maintenance.

The popular entrepreneur had just driven away from a construction site in Ha Tsolo with his employees at around 8:30pm, when he was allegedly flagged down by an unknown man driving a “white twin-cab” without registration plates. As the businessman stopped, the twin-cab driver allegedly came out of his vehicle, walked over to Mr Tšosane and then opened fire.

A woman (name withheld because she refused to comment on the issue when the Lesotho Times called her yesterday) who was with him in the vehicle, was shot once in the thigh and immediately taken to Maseru Private Hospital by well-wishers, while Mr Tšosane (45) was pronounced dead on arrival at the same hospital. The Lesotho Times was told the workers who were at the back of the van allegedly fled when the shooting started. The police say 15 shells were found at the scene of the crime.

No one had been arrested in connection with the killing by yesterday, while the police told the Lesotho Times that investigations were continuing.

ABC Members of Parliament (MPs) who visited the Tšosane family at the businessman’s first wife’s home in Sehlabeng sa Thuathe on Monday vowed vengeance, while also suggesting they knew who had pumped an estimated 11 bullets into their colleague’s body.

The MP for Bela-Bela Constituency, Litšoane Litšoane, told the grieving family that this was the beginning of a “war” which would only end after “everyone behind this attack has been brought to book”.

Mr Litšoane thundered:  “We must be strong and alert at all times as ABC members because we are now aware that there are some armed rebels following us wherever we go.

“The ABC is in a very difficult time as we grieve over one of our own. As a party, we must also be ready for a very difficult war against a very ruthless enemy who does not hesitate to kill. But let me say this loud and clear that whoever is behind this killing will be tracked down because Ntate Tšosane was not only a warrior in ABC politics but also contributed so much to the economic growth of Lesotho as a whole.

“Because he owned a number of businesses, Mr Tšosane employed scores of Basotho and one wonders how the dependants of those employees are going to survive now that this very generous man is gone.”

Mr Litšoane added what “the enemy” did not know was “if one man dies, another one rises in his place”.

He continued: “Murder is never a solution to political differences or bringing stability to a politically volatile environment.

“Before this country can have the peace and stability that it so desperately needs, there is going to be a bitter struggle and I urge the new prime minister (Democratic Congress leader Pakalitha Mosisili), who is heading this seven-party coalition government, to make sure Mr Tšosane’s murderer is arrested because we are not going to rest until this happens.”

According to Mr Litšoane, the Tšosane family should be proud to have raised such “a courageous and innovative son”, who was always prepared to lend a helping hand to those in need.

“To the Tšosane family, you should be proud that you were part of this man’s unique life. We ask the Almighty to give you strength and healing for your loss. To you, MP Fako Moshoeshoe, we are all very sorry with your loss; Mr Tšosane’s vote was powerful as it came together with so many others because people believed in him and his ideals. This is why they trusted his judgment and the party he supported since its formation (in 2006).

“MPs need such support because without it, they can’t make it,” Mr Litšoane said.

On his part, Mr Moshoeshoe said Mr Tšosane’s sudden death had left many families in “a desperate” situation because in addition to his workers, he also took care of less-privileged families and the elderly.

“Mr Tšosane did not only take care of his family but also more than 1000 less-privileged families; his murderer did not know what he was doing when he pulled that trigger.”

According to Mr Moshoeshoe, he was convinced the person who shot Mr Tšosane was “an expert”.

“I have a lot of knowledge about guns and I want all of you gathered here to know that Mr Tšosane’s murderer is a trained expert; he knows how to use a gun.

“We are not as stupid as those murderers might think; we are also aware that they contaminated the crime scene by dropping 9mm bullet shells at the scene while they used a submachine gun to take away Mr Tšosane’s life.

“With the support of the Tšosane family and ABC members, I promise that I will work night and day to find the person who pulled that trigger and make him pay. I also declare revenge here and now; we are not going to rest as a party, until we succeed in avenging this man’s death.

“We can’t just let people get into our homes and kill us like insects; we are going to face our enemies and fight them till the bitter end. Our enemies’ families must cry the way we are crying today; we can’t let horrific crimes like this go unpunished.”

Koro-Koro Constituency MP Motebang Koma also slammed Mr Tšosane’s shooting, noting the nation had lost a “true leader”.

“He was a true leader and man of the people because he knew how to play his political and business games well. He knew how to separate issues, which is why he was so successful in life,” Mr Koma said.

According to Mr Koma, “it is stupid to invest in people’s blood in the name of politics.

“We are all aware that Africa is dangerous when it comes to politics, but that should come to an end; we should all be civilised about our differences. A person should not be killed for asking politicians relevant developmental questions.

“In his Speech from the Throne on Friday, His Majesty King Letsie III acknowledged our 50 years of independence as Lesotho and it is a pity that we are still oppressed in this country because people still get punished for having a different political view,” Mr Koma said.

“I am really saddened by Mr Tšosane’s death because he was one of those men who had dedicated his life to fighting poverty and hunger. I am confident that had he continued to live, Lesotho was going to be delivered from depending on international donors for the provision of simple things such as maize-meal. It is a disgrace that we continue to depend on developing countries for our survival; we continue to survive on donations yet we are capable of doing some of these things on our own, the way Mr Tšosane was showing us how. Accepting every donation that comes our way is the same as eating faeces from our age-mates.”

ABC Secretary General and Tsikoane Constituency MP, Samonyane Ntsekele, assured the Tšosane family of the party’s support in the burial of their son.

Mr Ntsekele also advised the Tšosane family to “trust in God in this difficult time”.

“Even though it is not easy to lose someone you love, you should sing songs of praise to the Lord for the precious life of Ntate Tšosane that you were part of for so many years,” he said.

On behalf of the family, his mother, Matebatso said she received an anonymous call that her son had been involved in a car accident, and that she should rush to Maseru Private Hospital in Ha Thetsane on the day of the tragedy.

“I didn’t go, but asked his second wife,  ‘Mathabo, to go. She went there with her neighbours and upon their arrival, they were told it was not a car accident but a shooting and that Thabiso was already dead.

“We were also told that the police were investigating the case, and what we know is that he had his employees in that car. Beyond that, we don’t know anything or how many people were actually in his vehicle at the time of the shooting.

“Hopefully, police investigations will reveal what really happened to my son,” Matebatso said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tšosane is survived by his mother ‘Matebatso, two wives ‘Mapalesa and ‘Mathabo, and seven children—five daughters and two sons.

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