Former President Masire’s niece has lip bitten off in boozy fight with cousin
A boozy fight between two of the late Sir Ketumile Masire’s nieces left one nursing a badly bitten finger and the other with part of her lower lip ripped off.
60-year-old Phodiso Masire – daughter to the former President’s youngest sister, Morufi Masire – cuts a sorry figure.
An unsightly, red raw wound dominates the right side of her mouth – a deep, painful looking cut which she has smothered with white powder to stop possible infection.
It is a gruesome testament to Phodiso’s unsavoury biting match with her cousin, Lesego Chitanda, 49, the daughter to Masire’s other sister, Gabalengwe.
Narrating her version of events in an exclusive interview with The Voice, Phodiso explained the argument started with insults but quickly descended into bloody violence.
She admits they were both drunk but insists ‘it was not excessive’.
“We had just returned to Kanye, coming from Mmathethe, where we had collected our family’s helper. Lesego started shouting at me, telling me I was useless and did not have anything,” said Phodiso, who speaks slowly and with a slight lisp, the effort of speech causing her to grimace with pain.
“However, I told Lesego that I was better than her because she keeps her furniture in my house!”
Phodiso claims it was a retort that sent the younger woman into a wild fury.
“Lesego got irate and pulled me from the back, slapping me on the cheek and pulling me down. I bit her forefinger as she grabbed my bottom lip with her teeth and pulled,” said Phodiso, shutting her eyes, which are bloodshot and a similar shade of rouge to her inflamed mouth, as if to block out the memory.
“With blood oozing from the cut I tried to look for the piece. Unfortunately, I found nothing.”
According to the injured woman, this was not the first time she quarreled with her cousin after indulging in alcohol.
“She told me I am arrogant. She does not respect me as a sister older than her. She is busy with her catering business and I am just here unemployed nursing my lips,” concluded Phodiso, shaking her head angrily but delicately so as not to upset her injury.
Confirming the incident, the family helper, Ineeleng Montsho, 61, told The Voice that immediately after arriving in Kanye, the two cousins started shouting at each other.
“I quickly got out of the car to check what was happening. They both said to each other ‘o ntumile, you bit me’ as the other also said you also bit me’,” explained Montsho, adding she was concerned the issue would divide the family.
She revealed that although the two women stay in the same yard, they often have ‘misunderstandings’.
Indeed, Montsho claimed their relationship had deteriorated to the point they do not share food anymore, ‘everyone cooks for herself!’
For her part, Lesego, who confirmed she was also tipsy during the altercation, maintained she acted in self-defence.
“I was responding, I could not just allow someone to chew my finger. She is the one who started the fight by slapping me twice, so I slapped her back. As she fell down, she took my right hand and chewed my index finger, that’s when I bit her mouth.”
Her voice rising sharply, Lesego accused her cousin of long making her life a misery, claiming Phodiso once chased her with a hammer and pickaxe.
“The other time, while I was still a student, I had terrible scars on the face. She assaulted me with a plate while I was warming my food on the stove, accusing of finishing the gas.”
Shedding further light on the pair’s stormy history, Lesego concluded the interview by saying, “I even went away from home to rent a house because of her.
“I told her if she beats me I will retaliate to show her I’m grown up. I am no longer a 17-year-old girl; I am a mother caring for my two children. Every time we go for entertainment I buy her beer but when she comes back it’s another story!”
Despite the seriousness of her injuries, Phodiso has not yet reported the matter to the police.
She has since been approached by elders, who are trying to get the warring relatives to reconcile.