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Leave ABC, Koro-Koro committee told

Nat Molomo

THE ruling All Basotho Convention’s (ABC) lawyer, Advocate Ranale Thoahlane, yesterday challenged party’s the Koro-koro constituency committee to leave the party or seek an amendment to the ABC constitution rather than drag the party to the courts for redress.

Adv Thoahlane said the ABC was a private entity whose decisions cannot be reviewed by the courts as was the case with public entities.

He said this yesterday in his address to Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase who was presiding over the case in which the Koro-Koro constituency committee is seeking a court order nullifying the ABC’s national executive committee (NEC) decision to disqualify Professor Nqosa Mahao from contesting the deputy leader’s position at the party’s elective conference next month. The Koro-Koro committee also wants the court to nullify its own suspension by the party’s NEC after it challenged Prof Mahao’s disqualification.

The Koro-Koro constituency nominated Prof Mahao to contest the elections against Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro, party chairperson Motlohi Maliehe and the incumbent, Prince Maliehe, who is also Transport Minister.

However, the ABC’s NEC disqualified Prof Mahao on the grounds that he had not “served at the party’s branch and constituency levels for at least 24 and 36 months” respectively as required by the ABC constitution.

The Koro-Koro constituency committee however, insists that Prof Mahao meets the requirements to stand in the elections.

Prof Mahao, Mr Prince Maliehe, Mr Motlohi Maliehe, Dr Majoro, the Executing Working Committee of the ABC, the ABC’s NEC and the ABC are cited as the first to the seventh respondents respectively in the lawsuit filed by the Koro-Koro constituency committee.

The Koro-Koro constituency committee wants the court to “review, correct and/or set aside” the respondents’ decision to disqualify Pro Mahao from the elective conference set for 1 and 2 February 2019.

It wants the respondents to ‘show cause’ why “the decision of the NEC to decline and or cancel the Koro-Koro constituency nomination of Prof Mahao as deputy leader of ABC shall not be declared null and void and of no force or effect”.

The committee also wants the court to nullify its own suspension by the ABC for indiscipline after it convened a press conference to support Prof Mahao.  It further wants the court to nullify clause 5 (e) of the ABC’s own constitution, which states that a member of the party shall automatically forfeit their membership the moment they take the party to court. It argues that the clause contravenes the national constitution which guarantees everyone’s right of access to the courts of law.

However, Adv Thoahlane yesterday told the High Court that the ABC was a private entity whose decisions should not be reviewed by the courts.

“The decisions of the political parties are not reviewed, if you want to challenge them, you must seek redress within the party structures.

“A decision of a political party is different from a decision of public entity. If the applicants are not happy, there other methods which include seeking the amendment of the constitution or if they are not happy, they can find another political party,” Adv Thoahlane argued.

The hearing continued late into last night and the applicants’ lawyers were yet to present their arguments at the time of going to print.

Advocate  Motebang Ramaili instructed by Attorney Khotso Nthontho is appearing for applicants.

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