It looks like advisers of the country’s biggest opposition party leader still have a lot of work to do.
After last week’s events, there is no doubt that All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Tom Thabane needs a few lessons on how to handle the media.
To begin with, it is useful for politicians to know that by their nature journalists are an immensely irritating lot.
They earn a living out of poking their nose into other people’s business.
And in the course of their duty they cannot avoid ruffling a few feathers.
They are trained to be curious and inquisitive.
Unfortunately what usually passes off as a good story for the newswriter is not necessarily a good story for the newsmaker.
Thabane’s recent outbursts and threats against journalists working for the Sunday Express are not likely to solve matters for the beleaguered opposition leader.
The newspaper last week reported that Thabane threatened to shoot a reporter who was covering a court case of violence and sexual assault involving members of his family.
In the story carried by the Sunday Express Thabane’s wife, Mampolokeng, accused a relative of attempting to rape her at a wedding in Maseru.
She also accused two stepsons of assaulting her at the behest of the ABC leader.
Such claims by the wife of a popular opposition leader would make for a headline story anywhere in the world.
More so when the claims are a matter of public record contained in court documents.
But when Thabane was contacted for comment he threatened to shoot the reporter who was doing the story.
“I will not allow you to write this story,” Thabane warned.
“This issue is so serious that I will shoot you. I am telling you this openly.”
Did Thabane really think he was going to succeed in barring an independent newspaper from writing a story about the domestic violence that took place at his homestead by threatening the reporter?
It is heartbreaking to note that a man who wants to be the next prime minister of this country believes that journalists who write unflattering but true stories about his family affairs should be killed.
Thabane’s xenophobic tirade against the editor of the Sunday Express also leaves a lot to be desired.
Maybe Thabane’s handlers should tell the ABC leader that newspapers do not need permission from him to write about his family or his political party.
All that a newspaper needs for a story are the facts.
Instead of threatening journalists with violence, Vuvuzela thinks Thabane should channel his energy towards fostering peaceful co-existence among members of his family as opposed to inciting animosity among them.
Thabane could also discourage his cousin from taking aphrodisiacs and pitsa portions that will end up making him lose control of his libido.