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Tributes pour in for Chieftainess Bereng

SENATOR Nthati Bereng, 55, who was the principal chief of Phamong, died last Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. She will be laid to rest in Phamong on Saturday. Chieftainess Bereng was the first daughter of the late Chief Lekhooana and ’Manthati Jonathan.

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She married the late Chief Bereng Bereng and had one daughter who is also late.

As a senator, she was appointed chair of the HIV/AIDS Committee.

Chieftainess Bereng was Lesotho’s first female senator to be a member of the Pan-African Parliament, a position she held until her death.

Chieftainess ’Mamolapo Majara of Maqhaka said Chieftainess Bereng “was a selfless and self-driven individual who became a member of many parliamentary committees”.

She said Chieftainess Bereng was a “soft-spoken and self-driven senator who was diligent in her work”.

“I worked closely with her and I knew her strengths,” she said.

High Court judge Justice ’Mabatšoeneng Hlaele, who is her neighbour in Phamong, said Chieftainess Bereng “will be remembered for the love she had for her people”.

She said during the December holidays when Chieftainess Bereng went home for vacations, she would buy clothes for the needy children.

“She loved agriculture with passion,” Justice Hlaele said, adding that she loved farming potatoes.

“She would delve into anything agriculture-related,” Justice Hlaele said.

She said she first knew her back in 2014 as a dedicated farmer.

“My wish is to emulate what the deceased was doing in the area,” Justice Hlaele said.

“We have lost a heroine,” she said.

She said Chieftainess Bereng was gravely concerned by the high rate of crime in Phamong and she approached her to join hands to fight it.

Another senator, Chief Khoabane Theko, said Chieftainess Bereng had composure.

“She respected almost everyone regardless of their status,” Chief Theko said.

Chief Theko said the chieftainess “was a devout Christian who was able to scrutinise the budget in parliament”.

“It’s like she studied economics,” he said.

“We would agree with her on several issues in the House,” Chief Theko said.

He said, however, the chieftainess “did not support the notion that the administration of the Senate should be done by the chiefs simply because they are the majority in the House”.

“She was a true democrat,” Chief Theko said.

He said Chieftainess Bereng was not afraid to speak truth to power and spearhead campaigns wherever her voice was needed.

Chieftainess Bereng left a huge mark with the formation of the Cancer Trust Fund to help patients struggling to get cancer treatment.

“I will miss her courage and fortitude,” Chief Theko said.

Chieftainess ’Makholu Moshoeshoe of Kueneng also said Chieftainess Bereng was a devoted Christian “who knew her role as a chief”.

“She was dedicated to her job.”

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