THE owner of Insured Salvation Orphanage in Maseru, Pastor Mavis Mochochoko (73) was strangled to death at her home in Mohalalitoe.
Her body was discovered on the floor, in her bedroom by her grandchildren on Sunday morning when they had gone to pass their morning greetings before leaving to attend a church service.
Unsuspecting that there could be something wrong, the grandchildren tried to wake her up but ended up calling a relative, a son in law to Pastor Mochochoko, to help when they realized their grandmother was not responding.
After the son-in-law discovered that she was dead, but did not want to scare the children, he told them to go to church while he organized to take their grandmother to the hospital since she was sick.
He then alerted her wife, Pastor Mochochoko’s daughter.
Upon close examination, they both noticed some nasty marks around her neck and some blood dripping from her mouth and immediately called the police.
Police Spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli confirmed they were treating the matter as murder and armed robbery and investigations were underway.
“We know that Pastor Mochochoko’s car, a silver Cambria bearing registration number F5828 was stolen by her attackers, together with keys for her other car and for the gate,” Insp Mopeli said.
Police suspect Pastor Mochochoko’s attackers used one of the bedroom windows to gain entry into the house.
Pastor Mochochoko was well known for her charity activities and for many years she ran an orphanage in Mohalalitoe where she looked after orphans and vulnerable children.
Her daughter, Ms Mpho Mochochoko said the suspects robbed them of a loving mother, friend and a great woman who was loved by her community.
“She loved children and so was a mother to many children she had devoted much of her time to care for. It’s a love we could not all understand but came to respect her for her passion to help orphans and homeless children. It was her calling to be the mother of many children,” Ms Mochochoko said.
One of Pastor Mochochoko’s neighbours said it was painful to see a woman who spend much of her life caring for children suffering such violence that robbed her of her life.
“We are all in shock because this is a woman who has done a lot for this community and extended her love outside her own family. It is sad that some cowards did this to a defenseless woman who deserved some honour,” the neighbor said.