THE LOCAL sports fraternity is in mourning after the untimely deaths of former Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) public relations officer, Tšiu Monne and Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission’s (LSRC) Kholang Boniface Mokalanyane who died last Thursday and Friday respectively.
According to an LSRC statement, Mokalanyane passed on at Maseru Private Hospital after a long struggle with diabetes.
He joined the sports mother body after years working in the same position at LeFA.
The Qoaling-born Mokalanyane was a star footballer in his heydays in the 1970s where he played for South African glamour club, Kaizer Chiefs in the same team with the likes of Molefi ‘Ace’ Ntsoelengoe and Nelson ‘Teenage’ Dladla in 1977.
Prior to that, he had risen through the ranks at Loreto Primary through to Sacred Heart High School in Leribe before starring for Maseru United, National University of Lesotho (NUL) side, Rovers in 1973 while studying at the NUL.
After his spell at Kaizer Chiefs, he returned home to end his career in the blue and white colours of Matlama.
He returned to football as the LeFA CEO from 2004 to 2007 after he was given the job by the late LeFA president, Thabo Makakole.
Speaking with the Lesotho Times on Tuesday, former LSRC president, Limpho Mokhochance, who worked as Mokalanyane’s boss for almost two decades described him as a principled and humble human being.
She said they were shocked by his untimely death and had visited his family on Sunday to pay their respects.
“I worked with him for a long time and we went through a lot of challenges that we were able to overcome in the end,” Mokhochane said.
“He was a man of honesty and very humble.
“We had our ups and downs as is the norm at any workplace but he never held grudges and was forever committed to his job.”
Meanwhile, Monne who served as LeFA PRO from 2004 to 2008 succumbed to a heart-related condition. He also suffered from arthritis.
His career in football management began at Matlama where he was also PRO before becoming team manager of the national under-20 team.
During his tenure, Makoanyane XI twice reached the semi-finals of the regional COSAFA Cup as well as the final where they lost to Madagascar.
They also qualified for the African Youth Championship in Benin in 2005.
Monne’s close friend and Matlama legend, Seephephe Matete said he would be remembered for his passion for football.
“He was passionate and lived for the beautiful game hence he was able to work his way to the executive committee of LeFA having joined as a team manager,” Matete said.
“Working as a PRO, he made sure that the teams that he was involved with performed well so that he could go to radio to brag about it.
“He also hated to lose with his heart and was a football man through and through.”
Matete also said Monne was a man that was always willing to learn from those that were in football before him and that “helped him gain recognition outside the country.”
LeFA also expressed their shock and sadness at the deaths of their former officials.
Monne will be laid to rest on Saturday in Sea Point while Mokalanyane will be buried next Saturday.