Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
10 Dec 2019
6:10 am

Remembering a father felled in Maseru massacre

Brian Sokutu

In an act that shook the United Nations, 30 South African exiles and 12 Lesotho nationals were wiped out by SADF commandos under the guise of 'fighting terrorism'.

Nomabali Mapela. Picture Supplied

Nomabali Mapela was a toddler on December 9, 1982 – the day South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers killed 42 people at Ha Thamae village. In an act that shook the United Nations (UN), 30 South African exiles and 12 Lesotho nationals were wiped out by SADF commandos under the guise of “fighting terrorism”. Those killed during the SADF cross-border raid, which was described by then Lesotho foreign minister Charles Molapo as a “dastardly, cowardly and barbaric act”, included women and children. But little did six-year-old Mapela, who lived with her grandmother in the Eastern Cape town of Somerset East,...