EX Press Secretary to former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and veteran journalist, Thabo Thakalekoala has died, the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) has confirmed.
Dec. 29, 2021
2 min read
Former PM Press Secretary, Thakalekoala dies
The late Thabo Thakalekoala
- Veteran journalist died on Tuesday night in a Pretoria hospital after long illness
- Thakalekoala fled the country to SA in September 2014 alongside Thabane and other Basotho
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Preliminary reports from the party show that Thakalekoala better known as ‘Khoronkhocho Molomo oa Mphi’, succumbed to a long illness in a Pretoria hospital on Tuesday night.
At the time of his death, he deployed in South Africa (SA) where he held a post at the Johannesburg Consulate since mid 2021.
"I received the sad news from his wife. He had not been well ever since he arrived in Gauteng. We shall hear further details from the family when it has fully informed the party leadership. He was a strong member of Kobotata," wrote ABC stalwart, Silas Monyatsi on social media.
During his tenure as the Private Secretary to Thabane, Thakalekoala was locked in a tense standoff with Lefu Manyokole who was at the time the Principal Secretary to Cabinet.
He was denied access to his official vehicle and later booted out of his office.
Prior to entering politics, Thakalekoala had enjoyed a long and efficacious career as a journalist.
Among others, he worked for the Lesotho News Agency (LeNA), the now defunct privately owned Mopheme newspaper, he was also a presenter for Harvest FM and a foreign correspondent for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) News based in Lesotho.
He was also a former regional Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, a regional media watchdog organisation.
In September 2014, Thakalekoala was among a group of Basotho who fled the country to SA alongside Prime Minister Thabane.
This was soon after members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) took over three key police stations in Maseru in what Thakalekoala later described as a coup attempt.
He claimed that soldiers loyal to the now incarcerated army boss, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, who is being accused of the coup attempt, wanted to kill him.
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“I am still out of the country following Saturday’s military raid. I fled the country because I am one of the prime targets of Kamoli’s soldiers,” he had said.
Thakalekoala had announced on several local radio stations that Thabane had fired Kamoli and replaced him with the late Lt General Maaparankoe Mahao.
Kamoli is charged along with a group of eight soldiers for Mahao’s murder.
The change of the LDF command, Thakalekoala had said in his communiqué, was contained in a Government gazette issued on August 29, 2014 and approved by His Majesty King Letsie III, with the advice of the PM.
"We travelled long journeys, fought good fights and even clashed openly over our common noble cause with Tbose, but literally always finally found each other. May his soul rest in eternal peace," noted Thakalekoala’s long-time friend, Pheello Selinyane, as the rest of nation grieves.