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LCD youth leader faces suspension

Staff Reporter MASERU — Ts’oanelo Ramakeoana, the former Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth leader, is in hot water for allegedly “causing a stir” at the party’s leadership indaba on October 12. Ramakeoana angered the LCD leadership with his questions on why the interim committees of the youth and women’s leagues had been disbanded days before the conference.

For daring to question the leadership, the outspoken Ramakeoana could now be hauled for a disciplinary hearing. There was speculation last week that some senior party members are even pushing for his suspension from the party. The idea behind the push for suspension, senior LCD officials said, it to block Ramakeoana from contesting for the youth league presidency.
The Sunday Express understands that following his actions at the leadership conference, Ramakeoana was reprimanded by his Tsoelike constituency committee. A source close to the issue said after the Tsoelike constituency committee reprimanded Ramakeoana, the LCD national executive committee decided to start disciplinary proceedings against him. There are unconfirmed reports that Qacha’s Nek constituency, under which Ramakeoana falls, is being mobilised to organise the disciplinary hearing.
The source said Moeketsi Moletsane, former LCD chairman and the official guardian of the party in the Tsoelike and Lebakeng constituencies in the Qacha’s Nek district is being nudged to deal with Ramakeoana. “To divert attention, the NEC will use Ntate Moletsane to conduct the hearing so that it appears as though the decision to suspend Ramakeoana was reached solely by the constituencies,” the source said.

An LCD youth member said Ramakeoana has been advised by his “comrades” to “keep his head down and let the national executive win” if he is charged. He said youth league members encouraged Ramakeoana to “play it safe by being humble and pleading guilty to all the charges to avoid suspension”. “We have all agreed that for him to stand a chance to contest the youth league presidency, he should take all the blame and look at the bigger picture,” the youth member said.

“Ramakeoana is very popular in the LCD and is a favourite of both youth and old supporters. If he plays his cards rights now, the rest will be easy as pie.” When contacted for comment yesterday, Moletsane said he believes Ramakeoana had already been chastised for misconduct in the leadership conference by his constituency and seems “to have repented”.
“He was called to order by his constituency and he apologised for misbehaving. He’s still a young man and we’re teaching him how to best conduct oneself in the LCD,” Moletsane said.
“However, if he continues to misbehave, Ramakeoana will have no choice but be compelled to appear before a disciplinary hearing by the three constituencies.” However, Moletsane was quick to add that Qacha’s Nek constituencies were disappointed in Ramakeoana “for behaving the way he did”.
“The honest truth though is that the constituencies were deeply hurt,” Moletsane said.
He said if the executive committee saw the need to take further measures against Ramakeoana then the constituencies will then call him before a disciplinary hearing.
“If the executive committee gives us the directive as constituencies to haul him before a disciplinary hearing then we will do that. We will await reports from the NEC,” Moletsane said.
Two weeks ago the LCD leadership dissolved the interim youth and women’s committees on grounds that they were only temporary. LCD’s secretary general Keketso Rants’o added that the executive was within its rights to end the committees because they were “appointed by the executive committee”. The decision did not go down well with some members.
Ramakeoana was one of those who were angered but he might now have to regret his decision to speak out at the leadership conference.

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