A 15-year-old Ha Thetsane girl and her brother (26) drowned in a local sewage reservoir on Tuesday this week, leaving friends and family in a state of shock.
Lineo Tjeeka—a Standard 7 pupil at Lesia Primary School in Ha Thetsane—threw herself into the dam after quarrelling with her mother, ’Mamosia, over two men she had been seen in the company of. Her brother, Tebelo went into the dam in an effort to rescue his sister but both drowned while fellow villagers watched helplessly.
According to witnesses, the teenager wriggled free of friends who were trying to stop her from plunging into the filthy dam.
“She fought to get away from people who were trying to stop her as she was clearly out to commit suicide. Her mother had reprimanded her for being in the company of some two men who had been dumping waste here for the better part of the day,” said the witness.
The deceased’s mother, ’Mamosia, yesterday told the Lesotho Times how she lost two of her four children in the blink of an eye.
“I arrived from work at around 3pm yesterday and my son, Tebelo, told me that his sister, Lineo, had left home at around 11am. He said she had been seen in the company of two men travelling in a construction truck.
“Soon after hearing this, I saw the same truck coming our way, and Lineo was sitting between the two men. I stood in the middle of the road to force the truck to stop, which it did.
“I was angry; my child was too young to be in the company of those men so I ordered her to come out of that car but she refused and told me to go away.
“The driver of the car and his companion then laughed at me, making a fool out of me in front of my fellow villagers, as he drove away with my daughter but after I had a heated argument with them all.”
‘Mamosia said she then decided to leave and report the matter at Thetsane Police Station.
“However, before I left for Thetsane Police Station, I called Police Headquarters to report the incident but I was advised to report it at the nearest police post first, which I did.”
However, ‘Mamosia said she was told by the Thetsane police that there was nothing they could do because the men had not been found doing anything illegal with the teenager.
The family stays in a compound belonging to the Maseru City Council not too far away from the sewage reservoir. Also in the same compound is a dumpsite and trucks frequent the area to throw away waste, and according to witnesses who spoke to the Lesotho Times yesterday, the two men regularly visit the site.
“The police suggested that I should bring my daughter to the station so the officers could try and talk some sense into her,” ‘Mamosia said, weeping.
“But on my way back, I received a call from my neighbour at around 5pm, who wanted to know my whereabouts. I told her I was on my way home and she terminated the call.
“When I arrived home, I saw many people at the reservoir and when I went to find out what was happening I realised that my two children were dead.”
Ntjepela Makhetha (27) said when he went into the dam to try and save the siblings, it was already too late.
“Tebelo showed some signs of life when I reached him, and I found Lineo’s body later. It was so tragic I am lost for words,” he said.
Thetsane police confirmed the tragic incident yesterday and said investigations were in progress.