THE Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) has suspended its Staff Association chairman, Chief Officer Lebonajoang Ramohalali, for speaking to the media without authorisation.
Chief Officer Ramohalali also faces charges of “undermining” Parliament for allegedly criticising its passing last month of the Lesotho Correctional Services Bill 2015 without the input of opposition legislators.
The opposition bloc’s 55 MPs have been boycotting the august house since 23 June 2015, protesting alleged lack of law and order in the country which resulted in their three leaders, All Basotho Convention leader Thomas Thabane, Basotho National leader Thesele ‘Maseribane, and Reformed Congress of Lesotho leader Keketso Rantšo, seeking refuge in South Africa.
Dated 6 January 2016, the suspension letter was signed by Senior Superintendent L Nthako and reads in part: “It is alleged that on the 4th of January 2016 at or between 2200hrs and 2300hrs, you communicated or imparted information on matters which came to your knowledge in the course of your duty to one radio station in the country by the name of PC FM (People’s Choice FM).
“It is also alleged that some of the issues you raised thereof, was (sic) blatantly undermining or questioning the wisdom of the legislature for having passed the Lesotho Correctional Service Bill. Thus, you indicated that Parliament is heartless and passed the bill while improperly constituted as the opposition was not there.
“The effect of the foregoing was inter alia to incite members of the public and LCS staff to frown against the said bill.
“You will undoubtedly recall that communicating to the media without authority on matters pertaining to the administration of the service among others is a serious offence in terms of the law that regulates LCS.
“As such, for the office to thoroughly investigate the veracity and truthfulness of the said allegations. It is deemed prudent, if not far sighted, to instantly interdict you from your duties.
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, kindly take note that the office may require your good self for duty as and when it deems necessary. In that regard, you shall not absent yourself overnight from your normal place of residence.
“In the circumstances, your interdiction commences upon receipt of the instant communication by your good self.”
Chief Officer Ramohalali confirmed receiving the letter to the Sunday Express this past week, but would not be drawn to comment further.
“I don’t want to get into detail on this issue because the suspension letter is clear. I can only confirm that I received my suspension letter,” he said.
On his part, LCS Spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent Neo Mopeli, refused to comment on the matter saying: “The letter you are asking me about is correspondence between the Officer Commanding (Senior Superintendent L Nthako) and his subordinate.
“You will first have to explain how you managed to see or have the letter because it is an internal issue.
“I am, therefore, not going to say anything because I am not aware that there is such a letter.”