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Mokhothu pleads with Famo gangsters to halt killings

by Lesotho Times
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Limpho Sello

DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu has pleaded with Famo gangsters to desist from their murderous activities in Mafeteng and other parts of the country.

Addressing a rally this week in Qalabane, Mafeteng, the deputy prime minister bemoaned the rampant killings by Famo gangsters across the country and in illegal mines in neighbouring South Africa.

He vowed that if voted into power, a DC government would open new diamond mines in the district as part of measures to address endemic poverty which has contributed to crime in the area.

He said out of 400 possible diamond mining sites that had been identified by the government, only five were currently being mined by big multinational companies. He said eight of these potential mines were in the Mafeteng district.

A DC government would open more mines in Mafeteng and at least 300 others elsewhere. This would create thousands of jobs for Basotho in the process, Mr Mokhothu said.

“One of the good things that the Mafeteng community and the nation at large should do for themselves is to vote DC into power because we are prepared to change the narrative of underdevelopment,” Mr Mokhothu said.

“In Mafeteng we have eight potential diamond mines which we will open and we will employ the Makaota community.

“This is the very district whose people suffer at the illegal mines in the foreign land of South Africa. Several deaths recorded at those illegal mines are of Basotho men from Mafeteng.

“There are countless orphans in this district because of those illegal mines in South Africa. We therefore need to address this issue by ensuring that men from Mafeteng come back to work in their communities.

“There are mining sites in Sekameng, Ha-Lenonyane, Ha-Mokhasi, Thabana-Morena Mount Oliphant, Ha-Petlane, Matṧoseng and Borata. We are going to open these mines after you have voted us into government.

“The manifesto we are putting before you is not a joke. We will fully implement it after the elections when we have taken over the government.

“My humble plea is for you to stop the rampant killings. To all parents, I beg you to speak sense to your children and relatives to reconcile so that when we open the mines, they will come back and work here instead of engaging in illegal mining activities in South Africa. Your children need to come back and work here at home. It is my hope that God will help us to put an end to the infighting and killings in Mafeteng,” Mr Mokhothu said.

He said he dreamt of a future where Famo musicians were united and utilising their musical talents in peace.

“I want to see you dance together with others in their red Letlama blankets and others with their black, green or yellow blankets. You are one community and it is therefore crucial that you unite.

“The time is now to stop turning your wives into widows and your children into orphans. If we can go to every household that has a Famo musician, you will find a woman who is a widow and children who are orphans. This musical talent that God has given you is being taken away by a gun.

“I don’t have a problem with you rocking your blankets. My biggest problem is the rampant killings. I speak with a heavy heart to urge you to stop these killings. We have to work hard to restore peace and reconciliation in Moshoeshoe’s nation.

“Allow this district to grow because it has important minerals. You are however, frustrating this potential growth and tainting this district’s image because of rampant killings which are popular among the Famo gangs,” Mr Mokhothu said.

Mr Mokhothu also appealed for peace among the nationalist and congress parties.

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