BEREA — It’s a solemn atmosphere at the Seetsa family in Koalabata, a village on the outskirts of Maseru.
On Sunday the Seetsa family had the shock of their lives when the body of their 13-year-old son Moholobela was found, cut into pieces, in a valley not very far from their home.
Moholobela was reported missing on Wednesday last week.
According to his grandmother, ‘Mabereng Seetsa, Moholobela had gone to play with his friend as he normally did.
Seetsa said they started worrying later that day when Moholobela did not pick his mother’s calls.
His mother, ‘Mamoholobela, wanted him to come for lunch but when he did not answer his phone the family got worried.
“It was around lunch hour when his mother called him on his cell phone to come and eat.
“But his phone was not answered,” Seetsa said.
Seetsa said they suspected something was wrong when later that day a boy from the village brought home Moholobela’s bicycle.
It was the same bicycle he had used when he left home earlier that day.
The boy told the family that he had found some boys fighting over the bicycle.
“He said the boys told him that they had found it abandoned in an area just outside the village.
“We knew then that something wrong had happened to him.”
Messages were sent and Moholobela’s father who works in Mokhotlong was informed that his son was missing.
The following day they tried to call Moholobela’s number again but it was not available.
“We informed the chief and the police that my grandson was missing.
“His mother called Vodacom to ask if the number was still in their system.
“The Vodacom people confirmed that the number was still in their system and that its signal appeared to be in our area.”
The chief then dispatched a team of men to search the area.
The men searched the area for three days but failed to find anything.
Then around 11am on Sunday a passerby who had heard of the search was alarmed by a horrible stench while walking in a valley near Moholobela’s village and informed the villagers.
“On Sunday around 11am word went around that there were remains of a body found in a valley just outside the village,” Seetsa said.
“Something in me said it was my grandson’s body.
“I went to the scene but I only got a glimpse of the remains. The body was mutilated beyond recognition.
“It looked like a killed animal.”
The head was missing and so were the palms and the feet. The genitals and the heart were also missing.
“I saw that body for a short while but I told myself that it wasn’t a human’s body, especially not Moholobela’s,” she said trying hard to fight back tears welling in her eyes.
“I was in denial but at the back of my mind I knew it was him.”
Seetsa said she was called to recognise the body at the morgue.
“I could still not recognise the body at the mortuary.
“You could not see if it was a male or female. It had started to decompose.”
Some of the body parts were found but the heart and the genitals were never reccovered.
“I recognised the head.
“It was Moholobela’s. His father confirmed that the feet and the hands belonged to his son.
“It was only then that I accepted that it was him.”
She said they suspected that the body parts were disposed of a few hours after the body was found.
They were found not so far away from the ground where the body had been buried in a shallow grave.
“They were also buried.
“I was informed that they were wrapped in a plastic shopping bag.
“They must have been kept in a freezer because they had not decayed.
“In fact those who found them said they were cold.”
When the Lesotho Times visited the Seetsa family on Tuesday the boy’s mother was still in shock that she could not talk.
“This is too much for us all.
“His mother is in shock. She has been silent since she received the news of his son’s death.
“I have not seen anything like that in my whole life.”
She said they were praying that the murderer of her grandson be brought to justice but they already have a suspect.
“The villagers are so angry.
“They are baying for his blood.
“If it is confirmed that he is the one who so heartlessly killed my son’s child, I would not stop them if they wanted revenge.”
Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha appealed to the public to assist the police with information.
“We will find and arrest the devilish person who killed that boy,” Masupha said, adding that they suspected that this was a ritual murder.
Seetsa said preparations for the funeral will start once the police have given the go-ahead.