MASERU — Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili last Saturday said the death of National Independent Party (NIP) leader Dominic Motikoe had shocked him more than the foiled attempt on his life three weeks ago. Mosisili was speaking at Motikoe’s funeral last Saturday in Maputsoe.
Motikoe was murdered in cold blood two weeks ago in Maputsoe by Sebili Nkhahle who accused him of having an affair with his wife, ‘Mamotonosi Nkhahle.
‘Mamotonosi is also an MP and a member of NIP.
Motikoe was dropping ‘Mamotonosi at her house when her husband, Nkhahle, shot him dead at point blank.
“Motikoe’s death shocked me more than the attempt on my life a week prior to his untimely death,” Mosisili said.
A visibly emotional Mosisili told mourners that he had been contemplating appointing Motikoe to his cabinet.
“I was looking to appoint him to the cabinet and exhaust his agricultural skills and expertise for the benefit of this country,” Mosisili said.
“But it was not to be since he has now been taken away.”
He said Motikoe had visited him three days after the attack at State House.
“Little did he know that his own life would be terminated so prematurely,” Mosisili said.
Motikoe’s wife, Evodia Motikoe, was flanked by the prime minister, his deputy Lesao Lehohla and First Lady ‘Mathato Mosisili during the proceedings.
Mosisili described Motikoe as a man of outstanding attributes who was passionate about everything he did.
He said Motikoe always stood for the truth.
“Lesao Lehohla and Dominic Motikoe were party deputies who processed the LCD-NIP alliance,” Mosisili said.
“It created a lot of controversy and confusion.
“Many tried to dissuade him from the alliance. He was coerced to give it up, but he refused publicly and defiantly.”
The prime minister said although they had differences Motikoe had never stopped respecting Anthony Clovis Manyeli as the leader of the NIP.
He said jealous could have played a huge role in Nkhahle’s decision to kill Motikoe.
“I wonder if it was not jealous that motivated Nkhahle to pull the trigger and end a man’s life,” Mosisili said.
“Nkhlahle always took his wife to Motikoe’s place so that the two could drive to parliament together in the deceased’s car.”
Mosisili said it was disgraceful for anyone to end another person’s life.
Also speaking at the funeral, Lehohla criticised the media for speculating on the circumstances surrounding Motikoe’s death and writing the story before his family had been informed.
“The national media was considerate and treated Motikoe’s death with dignity,” Lehohla said.
“We did not broadcast the news of his death before his family had been formally informed.
“But that was not the case with private media.
“They just blurted out the news without proper consultation with the families involved.”
He added: “The media should have common decency to know where to draw the line.”
Lehohla condemned Motikoe’s murder saying it had become a norm for people in this country to use guns to settle problems.
“We are supposed to be a God-fearing nation, with churches all over,” Lehohla said.
He said LCD and NIP supporters were now working as a unit as a result of the alliance between the two parties.
Lehohla said Motikoe had clearly shown that “politics was not a dirty game as people like to say”.
“Only individuals with dirty minds spoil politics,” he said.
“We therefore wish to urge such individuals to withdraw from politics.
“The LCD-NIP alliance was created to advance peaceful and progressive politics.”
The deputy leader of the NIP, Serame Khampepe, said parliament must tighten bail applications for murder suspects.
“To see a murderer roam free before he has had his day in court is a reminder to the deceased’s family of their loss,” Khampepe said.
“It reopens the wounds and such pain is unbearable.”
Leader of the Popular Front for Democracy, Lekhetho Rakuoane, described Motikoe as a man of peace.
Among those who attended the funeral were Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki, Health and Social Welfare Minister Mphu Ramatlapeng as well as legislators Sello Maphalla and Rosa Leneha, both of the ABC-LWP alliance.
Nkhetsé Monyalotsa (MP), who recently ditched the opposition ABC for the LCD was also in attendance, donning a scarf bearing the ruling party colours.
Motikoe served as a member of several portfolio committees in the national assembly.
He leaves behind his wife, two children and a grandchild.
Motikoe’s alleged killer, Nkhahle, is currently out on bail and is expected to appear before the Leribe Magistrate Court today.