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LCD threatens mass protests to force out Thabane, Mahase

’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE youth league of the opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCDYL) has demanded the immediate resignation of outgoing Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase.

Three weeks ago, Dr Thabane announced his intention to retire citing his waning stamina after more than 50 years in politics. He did not give a date for his impending departure but the LCDYL says he must leave without further delay. They also want him to be accompanied by Justice Mahase who they accuse of bias in the granting of bail to the murder-accused First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane on Wednesday. They said they would stop at nothing including staging a massive protest to force the duo out.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, LCDYL deputy president, Phetho Matla, said they are “working on a huge protest march because we want Ntate Thabane to go home as soon as yesterday”.

“He (Dr Thabane) should make sure that he takes with him the Acting Chief Justice as we have had enough of her because she has thrown the judiciary into a quagmire.

“On that day we shall not leave the protest venue until the two have left their respective offices. Nothing good has come from them and this country can’t afford to go on like this.

“It is worth noting that there have been some irregularities in the processing of the bail application (for Ms Thabane). The bail was paid way after the working hours at the accounts office and she was released way after the normal hours at the correctional facility. That is so irregular.

“It defies logic that Ms Thabane got bail when we know very well that she skipped the country to avoid being questioned by the police who had summoned her yet former army commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, obliged but was never released on bail. He was denied bail and yet he never fled but obeyed police orders. To date he remains in police custody.

“The same thing happened to our deputy leader Mr Tšeliso Mokhosi who was summoned to the police for questioning only to be subjected to inhumane torture and kept in custody for seven days pending his bail application.”

He said “the whole world knows that ’Maesaiah skipped the country” and was a wanted person when she was given bail. He said despite being a flight risk, Ms Thabane was given preferential treatment by Justice Mahase to ensure that she retained the premier’s backing for her bid to become substantive chief justice. Dr Thabane has already recommended her appointment to King Letsie III.

“This is the same person whose husband and son were implicated in a theft of old-age pensions’ money that occurred at Mafeteng post office.

“That case has still not been heard and we can see that what Justice Mahase is doing is for her own personal gain. We want her gone as soon as yesterday alongside Ntate Tom (Thabane) they have brought this country to shame. This could be the main reason why she has granted the First Lady bail without following principles,” Mr Matla said of Justice Mahase whose husband, Thabiso and son, Teboho Mahase were arrested in December 2017 on fraud charges. They were released without being charged.

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