MASERU — The Basotho National Party (BNP) on Friday expelled seven members accused of insubordination.
The party’s disciplinary committee recommended their expulsion last November.
The BNP’s national executive committee and party leader Metsing Lekhanya endorsed the recommendations to expel the members.
The seven are Moeketsi Hanyane, Mateisi Mateisi, Khoboso Mantsó, ‘Mapalesa Mosetse, Seabata Thabisi, Mothobi Moholi and Motsie Raliile.
They are part of a faction that has been pushing for Lekhanya’s removal for almost a year.
This is the same faction that recently publicly declared that it wanted Professor Kopano Makoa, a university lecturer, to replace Lekhanya at the party’s conference set for March.
BNP secretary-general Ranthomeng Matete announced their expulsion at a press conference on Friday.
Matete said the decision “had been a long time coming” and was not related to the group’s plans to install Makoa as the BNP leader.
“Their desire to see Professor Makoa as the BNP leader had no bearing on our decision to expel them,” Matete said when asked if this was not the party’s plan to deal with Makoa’s supporters ahead of the conference.
“If they want him, they will follow the right channels.
“They will have to lobby for support from their own constituencies and others.”
The BNP’s annual general conference is scheduled for March 19.
Matete said despite the apparent factionalism the party was still intact.
“Their (faction’s) following does not in the least come close to that of the official BNP.
“Although they claim to be successful, we have established from our sources that that is not the case.
“When people are out to destroy they will do and say anything to push their agenda.”
Hanyane, Mateisi, Mantsó and Mosetse, were charged with disregarding their initial suspensions, insubordination and bringing the leadership of the BNP into disrepute.
“The first four members were sentenced for bringing the party into disrepute as well as eroding public confidence in the leadership,” Matete said.
“That was a violation of the BNP constitution.
“This effectively means that they are henceforth no longer members of the BNP.”
Matete said Thabisi, Moholi and Raliile had also violated the party’s constitution.
“These members have also received sentences of immediate expulsion from the party,” Matete said.
The BNP secretary-general said the decision to expel the group was not an easy one.
“Expelling these people was not an easy decision to make, especially because we are going for the local government elections soon and the 2012 elections are not far off either,” Matete said.
“At such times we need every member. But losing them is better that keeping them.
“Their actions could have resulted in the further destruction of the party.”
The group refused to respond to media questions saying they will issue a statement tomorrow.