Three bodies still missing

MAFETENG — The search is still on for three bodies of children who drowned after a car accident in Mafeteng in February.

Eleven people died in the accident after their double-cab vehicle was swept by floods in Ha-Khoete in February.

Eight of the bodies were discovered within days of the accident but three bodies were missing.

The deceased were buried in a moving state funded funeral on February 6.

Their hearts are still heavy with sorrow but the villagers from Khoete have not given up the search for the other three missing bodies.

After the tragedy the people from Ha-Khoete and nearby villages embarked on a search for the missing bodies.

They were later joined by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) scuba divers but the search yielded nothing.

Everyday some still walk along the Motsepe River hoping to find the remains of the trio.

Officially the search has stopped but the villagers still peer into gullies along the river hoping to find the remains of the children.

It might be two months after the accident but relatives say the thought of having the bodies of their loved ones not having a decent burial still haunts them.

“We are still searching but we are losing hope with each day that passes,” Malitsoanelo Khoete who is a relative of the deceased said.

“We are determined to go on with the search so that we can give them a decent burial.”

Khoete lost her mother-in-law in the accident.

“Things have not been well since the accident. My father-in-law has not been well,” she said.

Khoete’s father-in-law was driving the car that was washed away. He had bought the car a month earlier. 

‘Matsepang Khoete is still inconsolable about the loss of her five children, two of whom are still missing.

She said she has lost hope that they will ever be found.

She said the search for the three missing bodies has been officially stopped after the burial of the other eight.

“I have lost hope that the bodies will ever be found. It has been a while now since the search stopped. I am afraid I will never give my children a decent burial,” she said.

 “I will never forget the tragic loss of my children and other people who died,” she said.

The grieving mother said she realises that the chances of ever finding the bodies are slim but not knowing the whereabouts of her children is going to haunt her forever.

She said she has never had a good night’s sleep ever since the accident. She has been ill due to trauma.

“My blood pressure has shot up and doctors say they cannot prescribe any medication for me until it has lowered. Every night I go to sleep I think of my children and wish that I had buried them home next to me.”

She said she cannot bring herself to cross the river where the van was washed away by the flood.

“I get so angry when I cross that river. Every time I look down the stream with a broken heart and try to picture the horror that my children went through.”

She blamed the government for not building a proper bridge and road.

She said the villagers had requested that a road and bridge be built but nothing happened.

“For years we have been asking that the government build a road and bridge in our area. But they never took us seriously. Innocent lives had to pay for the government’s arrogance.”

The minister of transport and public works, Tséle Chakela, attributed the accident to the unavailability of a proper bridge.

The government has promised to build proper bridges at Motsepe and other places around Lesotho.

But judging by the slow pace of policy implementation this might take a long time.

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