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BNP constituencies want expelled members recalled

Bongiwe Zihlangu


MASERU — Three Basotho National Party (BNP) constituency committees have demanded the reinstatement of senior members that the party expelled in February for alleged insubordination.

Constituency committees from Lithabaneng, Abia and Qaqatu this week wrote to the party’s national executive committee demanding that the members be reinstated “without condition”.

Moeketsi Hanyane, Seabata Thabisi, Alexis Moholi, Motsie Ralile, Mateisi Mateisi, ‘Mathato Mants’o and ‘Mapalesa Mosetse were booted out following a long-running wrangle with party leader Metsing Lekhanya.

The seven insisted that they had been kicked out for opposing Lekhanya’s continued hold on power.

They then launched an onslaught to oust Lekhanya but their efforts collapsed at a party conference in June when he was retained as leader.

Chairpersons and secretaries from the three constituencies signed the letter which was delivered to the BNP headquarters on July 12 by Adoro Adoro, a party member.

Sources said it was meant to coincide with weekly meeting of the party’s national executive committee.

Adoro confirmed the existence of the letter.

“We did it because one of the resolutions made by the June 18 elective conference was to bring unity to the party,” Adoro said.

“If they are genuine, they should start by welcoming those people back into the party. Besides, the expulsion did not make sense to begin with.

“It is tantamount to kicking one’s wife out of the family home if she does not follow rules.

“But still, it doesn’t help matters.”

Thabisi, one of the expelled members, said he was not optimistic the letter would “have the desired impact”.

“I do not think it will make any difference. I do not think the executive will respond to it,” he said.

“Lekhanya is still at the helm of the BNP leadership, while the chairperson and secretary-general are the same people from the previous committee,” Thabisi added.

“They are all incapable of being objective because they are the ones who made the decision to have us expelled from the party to begin with.”

BNP secretary-general Ranthomeng Matete denied having “received a letter of that nature”.

Matete however said the expelled individuals should be the ones asking for forgiveness.

“It is not a prescribed procedure, but common sense dictates that they should go it alone before involving their constituencies,” Matete said.

The BNP constitution, Matete said, did not specify how an approach of that nature should be dealt with.

“But Section 5 of the BNP constitution clearly stipulates that anyone who has served a two-year sentence of their term of expulsion should seek forgiveness with the help of their constituency committee,” he said.

“If the process were to be short-circuited, as the letter you are referring to seems to imply, it would have to be done with the authority of a conference.

“I have never heard of constituencies writing letters together in this manner. Constituencies are supposed to submit their cases individually.”

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