BCP rejects LCD’s invitation


Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — The Basotho Congress Party (BCP) will not be part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the congress party movement in Berea this morning. BCP leader, Thulo Mahlakeng (pictured), last week rejected an invitation extended by the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party to be part of the celebrations. Mahlakeng told the Sunday Express that the commemoration had been “organised by people who do not have the legitimacy to do so”. The BCP was formed by the late premier Dr Ntsu Mokhehle in 1952.

He came to power in 1993 after his party won a landslide victory at the first polls since the reintroduction of democracy. But Mokhehle later dumped the BCP and formed the LCD in 1997. The formation of the LCD left the BCP in ruins and the party has never recovered from the split. Judging by Mahlakeng’s rebuff of the invitation, it appears BCP officials have still not gone over that messy divorce 15 years ago.
In a letter dated December 4, LCD secretary general Keketso Rantšo invited the BCP to commemorate the founding of the congress party ideology. The invitation was also extended to former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) party, Kelebone Maope’s Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) and former BCP leader Molapo Qhobela’s Basotho African National Congress (BANC).
But in his response dated December 7, Mahlakeng accused the LCD of highjacking the commemorations.

“This is a very important event that simply can’t be planned randomly by people who do not have the legitimacy to do so, lest it leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths instead of marking the legacy of the congress movement,” Mahlakeng said. “Your invite of the BCP and other congress movement parties to the event and what you stand for is misleading. Inviting the BCP to an event that is rightfully theirs is not only demeaning but also the climax of your deceit.” Mahlakeng added that the LCD had no business claiming ownership of the congress movement legacy as the party is only 15 years old and was “formed under dubious circumstances”. “The truth of the matter is that what is 60 years old is the BCP, formerly known as the Basutoland African Congress and formed on October 7, 1952,” Mahlakeng said.

“You seem to be jumping the gun here, taking ownership of that which does not involve you that much, as if you’re running away from something. Are you running away from something?” “What is the urgency, when did you suddenly realise that you’ve got it all wrong? Maybe we’ll meet so that you can explain that which motivates your actions.” Mahlakeng’s firm view is that the only political party in Lesotho with the right to claim legitimacy in the diamond anniversary of the BCP is the BCP itself and that the LCD was only “trying to shift attention from the fact that it’s in ruins”. “The LCD has no right to shove us aside and claim the spotlight. The party is only 15 years old for God’s sake. They are only seeking attention and running away from their internal squabbles,” Mahlakeng said.

Mahlakeng also in the letter seeks to remind the LCD that it was only in 2007 when the LCD celebrated the 10th anniversary of the formation at the Lepereng ground on the outskirts of Maseru. “You were right then, but now in 2012 you claim to celebrate the commemoration of 60 years of the congress movement when in actual fact it’s the BCP that’s supposed to be doing it,” Mahlakeng said. “By right you should be celebrating your 17th anniversary, but you seem to have forgotten. Unless if you are of course deliberately going all out to deceive.” Mahlakeng told Rantšo that prior to the May 26 national election plans were already underway by the BCP to “commemorate our 60th anniversary on October 7”.

“We had to postpone our plans as we discovered that we were behind schedule with other important issues. But we will continue with our plans when it’s convenient,” Mahlakeng said. “With these words, I therefore urge you and your party to accept, Madam that I will not honour yours and your party’s invite.”


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  1. Masapo a mofu ha a hlomphuoe hle. Marata ana a nepahetse phoso ke hore le ka be shebisane taba ena pele e fihla tsebeng tsa rona.

  2. This is true, LCD has no right to celebrate 60 years of congress in Lesotho, on what grounds are they legitimising this? Not long ago they were celebrating 10 years of the LCD formation, taba tsa BCP ba li kena ka eng?

  3. Ha ke le congress and I don’t subscribe to the congress ideology, however, what is the BCP leader objecting upon? Is he being invited to a BCP anniversary or anniversary of the congress movement? He is a sorry loser – shame on him and he forgets we know how he became a leader of the BCP himself!

  4. I believe Advocate is misrepresenting himself here. What is being commemorated is the congress movement in Lesotho. Not the BCP. The latter is just there by name in local politics because it has become irrelevant. It has been surpassed by BNP in popularity. LCD was in actual fact doing the BCP a favour. A bonya ka lephako akhente banna. When opportunity arises, you grab it, otherwise you remain in the doldrums of history. What remains of BCP are the rented offices and the funny building by the Mpilo hill. What an eyesore at the centre of the city!!! Mokhoro oa setene se seputsoa. What do they they do with the rental fees that the get monthly? Just lease out the site to business to allow development. Some legal minds are still living in the past. Sloganeering instead of going forward.

    “We had to postpone our plans as we discovered that we were behind schedule with other important issues. But we will continue with our plans when it’s convenient,” Sounds so typical. He never had any plan to safe his sorry party.

  5. This response is the harshest response I have ever come across. Painfully, it is true what Mahlakeng said. Exactly what is a congress movement? As far as I know there is nothing like a congress movement, rather, what was formed in 1952 was Basutholand Congress Party and not A congress movement. The Congress movement that was formed in 1952 is Basotholand Cogress Party. Ma LCD buang nete. What was formed in 1952 was a movement alias political party called Basotholand Congress Party. Infact it is the BCP that needs to celebrate the 60 years of its formation oand not the LCD. This is cheap sheer prostitution done by LCD. This is how cheap our politics have become. Imagine in South Africa Congress of the peope (COPE) celebrating the so-called 100 years of Congress Movement when we all know COPE was formed just in 2009. This is disgusting of LCD. Those chaps in the LCD are devoid of any brains hence thjey can not even think beyond a mere stretch of opportunism. Mahlakeng is 100% correct.

  6. @Tautona, indeed there was something sarcastic about the LCD organizing the 60 years of the “congress movement”. In reality that “congress movement” in question is BCP and none other than that. Ke lumellana le Mahlakeng. LCD is simply hijacking the 60 year legacy of BCP. Much as I do not like DC/potoana, this time I give them credit. They really had no business attending that gathering. I could not imagine DC (8 months old) and LCD(15 years old) and LPC(11 years old) coming together celebrate some 60 year anniverssary. Something could have indeed been wrong with the organizers.

    To make matters worse LCD organises that event exactly on December 09 when ANC convenes in Maseru top commemorate the invasion of Lesotho by SANDF that killed 30 ANCs and 12 Basotho. LCD was indeed ill advised on this front. They know very well that every year ANC and BNP come together on 09 December to commemorate that massacre yet they decide to organize their event exactly on the 09th. This was disgusting. Ba Congress a tsoela pele hore hloisa ma ANC.

  7. Ooe macongress hantle le entse joang? Every faction e bona eka ke lecongo le betere ho feta a mang. You are boring with squabbling like bana ba sa holisoang hantle. Get a life, Congress movement has always been there and it will always be there. Ha e mong a hlaha ka a certain idea the other 1 is sure to oppose it ha e sa hlaha ka eena. Khilik, lea re tena manne!

  8. @Lefa
    So what? O bolela hore makhotla a mang a bo-congress hana matla a ho etsa letho le buang ka bo-congress hobane a le manyane ho BCP ka lilemo? BCP e feletose ke maqheka ‘me hase hantle hore maikutlo a matle a makhotla a mang a hatelloe hobane ho thoe a manyane ho BCP. Haeba haoso hlokomele, ke tlholeho hore lintho tse ncha li be le chebelopele e betere ho feta tsa khale.

  9. Thinya Monyako on

    Ka 1952 ho thehiloe BCP eseng congress movement. Mokhehle o itse BCP e furalloe e bolile ‘me a theha LCD ka 1997. O furalletse BCP le maLLA bao eleng khale ba eoa ba tsoha le eena. Hare bua tjena maBCP ha ba sa tlala le venture ka lebaka la ketapele e malimabe ea Mokhehle. Pele a fumana setulo puso hone hothoe: E LLA KOTO, EA KHUTLA NAHA LE MATEKOANE A EONA, MASISTERE A TL’O NYALLOA, KEREKE TSA ROMA LI TL’O FETOLOA LITORO TSA MATEKOANE!! H’a fumane puso hoa thoe :EA LLA KOTO, KHAKHAULANE MOLAMU OA TS’EPE!! H’ase a utloile menono ea lichelete tsa naha ha thoe: HABA FURALLOE KE LIBOLU!! Haho ka tsela efe kapa efe BCP eka tlotlang Mokhehle ‘moho le LCD. Congress movement ke nthoa Mosisili, Metsing le Maope haba tsoelepele ka eona, BCP no! Ba tloaetse linokoane tsena ho ja ka liexpense tsa batho. LCD, LPC & DC tsa maqitolo, celebratang ur own aniversaries ka tsela tsa lona le khaohane le BCP le maLLA bao le lahiloeng hore le ba furalle ke ntat’a lona Mokhehle. Ba fumaneng molemo ketapeleng ea Mokhehle rea ba lebohela ha ba bang ele liqhoala ba fumane bomalimabe joaloka maLLA. EA LLA KOOOOOOOOOTO!!!


  10. hehehehehe!!! @Lofo, ke ea u tlatsa ngoan’a moren’aka. The BCP and its leader are misled by their own blindness. The celebration is indeed not for BCP or any party but the movement. Even if he says they are the legitimate claimants to such an event, why? His basis seems to be because the party was formed by Dr Mokhehle (MHSRIP). Now, what about fact that he abondoned it? it surely counts for something. Politicians fail themselves sometimes.

  11. @Thinya Monyako, in 1997 an ailing Mokhehle gave an unfortunate instruction “le ba furale”. Mantsoe a mofu a aheloa lesaka. As such any desciple of Mokhehle who headed the call of forming LCD, must remeber Mokhehle told them ho furala BCP. O ne a re BCP ke liolo tse senang bohloa. Now fast forward that people want to hijack the BCP history and legacy. Too cheap for LCD. It is high time people are told to celebrate own legacies. Next time we wil hear LCD “celebrating 100 years of congress movement in Africa”. How pathetic that wil be. Unless they are stoped here and now we are heading for mediocrity awards. What was formed in 1952 was Basotholand Congress Party not Basotholand Congress Movement. LCD must get their facts correct.