MAPOTENG — It is a windy day and most villagers at Ha Pelesa are hiding behind closed doors to avert dust.
But the Macheli household is busy with some villagers, mostly women, walking in and out with the sadness on their faces showing the reason for their visit.
They have come to pass their condolences on the loss of the family’s daughter who was murdered last Friday.
‘Matipi Macheli, 17, was allegedly shot by her 22-year-old boyfriend.
The man is still battling for his life at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial hospital after a failed suicide attempt.
Macheli was shot for ending a love affair with the man after she discovered that he was married.
Her aunt, Libuseng Macheli, says her niece was leaving home for school when the man who works at a nearby shop came to meet her.
She had just walked out of their back door and they met.
“Her siblings were still finishing up to prepare to go to school when they heard three gunshots.
“They ran to see what was happening. They found their sister lying down bleeding. That man was lying beside her,” Libuseng says.
Neighbours who had heard the gunshots had also rushed to the scene.
The police were called and the two were later taken to hospital where Macheli was confirmed dead upon arrival.
Libuseng says the family is devastated by the death of their child.
“It was too sudden. We are hurting. Our child was killed for doing the right thing of ending a relationship with a man who had not revealed to her that he was married,” she says.
She says they had also heard from his friends who were with him the night before that he was planning to “do something that would shock” people.
“He has really shocked us. I still cannot believe that my brother’s daughter has been killed.
“She was preparing to sit for Junior Certificate (JC) examinations. She could have become someone big.
“She could have become the first female Prime Minister. That man has robbed us of our hopes for a better future,” she says.
Macheli will be buried on Saturday.
“We want this to pass. We are grateful that people are coming in numbers to be with us in this difficult time. But it has really been tough for us to have to repeat the same story to many people. It is an unbearable pain. We want this over and done with,” she says.
She says Macheli’s mother, 54-year-old ‘Matjekela who was away from home when the incident happened, is taking the most strain.
When this paper visited the family on Tuesday ‘Matjekela sat sobbing on the mourning mattress as details of her daughter’s death were narrated. She declined to speak to us.
She urged the leaders of the coalition government to ensure that justice is done.
Ha Pelesa villagers say they were traumatised by the murder.
“We cannot believe this has happened so close to us. We have heard that there are illegal guns around here but we never suspected that something like this could happen. She was young. She had every right to end that relationship because he had lied to her about his marital status,” a woman whose name was not identified said.
Police spokesperson Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane said the man was still recovering in hospital.
Ramarikhoane said once he is stable he will face two charges of murder and attempted murder for trying to kill himself.