FOUR Principal Chiefs this week donated M14200 worth of groceries to the families of horrific car accident which claimed 16 lives in Ribaneng in the Mafeteng district in June this year.
Ten people died on the spot on 4 June at Ha-Makoanyane in Ribaneng when the driver of the vehicle they travelling in lost control and the car plunged down a cliff. Another six passengers later died in hospital. The death toll has since risen to 17 after another victim of the car accident died on the 27th of July at Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH).
The vehicle had 36 passengers in all and some of them were reported to have been critically injured in the accident.
The driver only suffered minor injuries and he was treated and discharged from hospital on the 5th of June.
And on Tuesday, the chiefs donated the groceries to the victims' families at the Ribaneng Community Council.
The Principal Chief of Tajane, Thato Mmako Mohale, said they felt compelled to donate as a way of assisting the deceased's families.
"We asked for donations from several companies but we were got sponsorship from Letšeng Diamonds and Metropolitan Lesotho," Chief Mohale said.
"Letšeng donated M10 000 and Metropolitan donated M4200. This added up to M14 200 which we used to buy groceries for all the bereaved families.
"We are very humbled by the two companies' gesture because they showed us that they are Lesotho companies and Basotho are a priority to them," Chief Mohale said.
He said the Ribaneng area fell under the jurisdiction of the four principal chiefs of Tajane, Matsieng, Ramabanta and Matelile.
On his part, the Maliepetsana Legislator, Mpalipali Molefe, commended Letšeng Diamond for its generosity, saying it did more than other mines in terms of the corporate social responsibility programmes.
"Letšeng has always shown its support to Basotho and I'm very happy to hear that they heard our principal chiefs' pleas for assistance," Mr Molefe said.
A representative of the mourners, Thabiso Mokhele, expressed gratitude for the support they have received since the death of their loved ones.
"We are very impressed with the support we got from the government and now the principals chiefs.
"This is a sign that we are never alone. We have seen that there are people who took this crisis very seriously. I therefore wish them all the best in their work and in life just for helping us," Mr Mokhele said.