Comfort for Basotho

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

Lesotho's Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili soothed the hearts of the Basotho nation that lost 26 soccer players and supporters in an accident.

Mosisili, who spoke before King Letsie III during the state funeral held at Katse Village on Friday, told mourners that the dark cloud that had engulfed the nation will disappear with time.

The accident, which happened less than 10km from their village on December 26, traumatised the whole nation.

The grim faces of the Basotho people along the road leading to Katse reflected their sorrow.

Before addressing mourners, speakers bowed their heads towards a row of coffins to show respect.

Mosisili, who cautiously selected his words, spoke slowly and softly in both Sesotho and isiZulu. He told mourners that their loss was shared by all nations.

"When the journey is hard we wonder when will we finish travelling it. But the Lord hears his children when they cry and pray

"We must not hurt ourselves because we are not alone in mourning. Parents who lost their children have no reason to go on, but they must know they are not alone in grief. Let us not kill ourselves because of what happened," said Mosisili.

"These young people will still play football on the other side of the grave and we must accept that they can no longer be with us on this earth."

King Letsie told his nation to be brave and not to allow the loss to instil fear in their hearts. "We must still allow our children to participate in sport. When our leaders in sport ask for our children we should release them without fear."

The truck owner Leisa Ramaketse appealed to government not to abandon the affected families.

He said local businesspeople are trying their best to make conditions easier to endure for the affected families.

He said a trust fund had been established to help the affected families.

"We have to make sure as a nation that we give all necessary support to the families," he said.

There was silence and not much movement among the mourners throughout the funeral service that lasted for three hours in near on unbearable heat.

After the joint service, families took their loved ones to different destinations for burial.