Maseru- Government has apologised for the fatal shooting of a Motse-mocha Motimposo teenager, Ngaka Mohlehli by police.
Addressing rattled mourners at his funeral on Saturday, Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli said the shooting was an accident.
17-year-old Mohlehli, was accidentally killed by police when chasing a criminal in his area a fortnight ago.
“I am sorry that today you have all gathered here because of my doings. It would not be right for me to stand here and shift the blame to any of my officers, but I am totally to blame.
“To each one of you gathered here, and to the family we are very sorry. It is not for us to kill our people, but we are tasked with protecting lives and preventing crime before it happens. We are truly sorry.
“Like a Christian it is befitting for me to shoulder all the blame. No words are enough to express my shame and I do hope that you have sincerely forgiven us as you have said. We thank you for that kind gesture. I still maintain that things shouldn’t have taken this route. We are truly sorry,” said Commissioner Molibeli.
He said he would make sure that the family of the deceased is comforted and compensated as promised.
For his part, police minister Lepota Sekola said he was also sorry for all that had happened.
“What had happened is very regretful and we are sorry. We have also arranged with the family that there will be means to bridge the gap that the deceased has left as he was the last hope of his family.
“We are going to make sure that his younger sister who is still at school and will soon be completing her studies. She will be given a chance to serve in the police force and I will make sure that before my tenure ends, I will make sure that all things are done in writing to ensure that promises are kept.
Motimposo legislator Thabang Mafojane said it was humbling that the family had agreed to forgive the police officer who had killed their son. He even said they had arranged for the mother to start work as soon as Monday as she was unemployed.
“It is a mistake that this happened, and the blame should not be shifted to the Commissioner of police nor the Prime Minister himself.”
For his part, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro said it was sad that such a young life had been lost.
“It’s sad that this has happened, and it would have been better if we were gathered here to celebrate and not in this manner. I can only what you are going through as you recall your journey and his childhood memories.
“No one had planned for this to have happened and I thank you all for having come in large numbers to convey your condolences to this bereaved family. This unfortunate act while the police were in their line of duty of protecting you.
“With your taxes you have asked the government to protect you and it is doing exactly that. This was an accident, so to you all please don’t despair giving tip offs to the police. I am very encouraged that the family has forgiven the officer who shot the deceased, and I would therefore ask the same of you as a people.
“I want the criminal who was being chased to be apprehended. I have been told that the crime rate in this area has reached the apex and there is need for a police station and I have approved that it be done as soon as yesterday,” promised Majoro.
The deceased is survived by his sister and mother.