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Mofomobe warns NSS, police bosses 

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Mohloai Mpesi 

BASOTHO National Party (BNP) leader, Machesetsa Mofomobe, has warned the newly appointed security agencies’ bosses to desist from politics. 

He implored the acting Commissioner of Police Mahlape Morai, and the National Security Service (NSS) acting Director General Lebohang Mafisa to strictly focus on their office work and not meddle in politics like their predecessors, Holomo Molibeli and Pheello Ralenkoane respectively. 

Mr Mofomobe said this while addressing a press conference at his party’s head office, the BNP Centre,?on Tuesday. 

Mr Mafisa was appointed last Friday to steer the ship for three months after Mr Ralenkoane’s tenure ended on 4 April 2024. 

Mr Ralenkoane’s three-year contract had expired in January and was extended by three months to April 2024. 

According to sources close to this publication, NSS management sought to have the Prime Minister Sam Matekane?extend Mr Ralenkoane’s contract with another two years for him to complete his mission of “stabilising the institution” but failed. 

Neither Mr Ralenkoane nor Mr Mafisa could be reached for comment on the issue. 

Mr Mafisa said he would not discuss the matter over the phone but was unavailable for a meeting while Mr Ralenkoane’s mobile phone rang unanswered. 

Mr Molibeli’s contract ended on the 23rd?of February 2024, and Dr Morai took over on a three-month term the following day. The?Lesotho Times?also understands that Mr Molibeli had lobbied for the extension of his contract but failed. 

The retired duo had made an infamous joint statement along with the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela wherein they directed Members of Parliament to desist from unseating premier Matekane but instead focus on completing the long-drawn national reforms process. 

Their statement followed a no confidence motion in the National Assembly by Mr Mofomobe against Mr Matekane’s government on 13 October.? If Messrs Mofomobe and Molibeli thought the statement would endear them to the Prime Minister and buy them more time in office, they seem to have failed. 

At his media briefing, Mr Mofomobe counselled that Dr Morai should focus on her police mandate and refrain from politics, unlike her predecessor (Mr Molibeli) whom he said used the police force to fight his political battles. 

Mr Mofomobe said he had suffered during Mr Molibeli’s tenure with the police raiding his home after he?filed the no confidence motion against Mr Matekane. The police raided Mr Mofomobe’s house, claiming they were searching for a gun suspected to have been used in the murder of a BNP member. They then confiscated his arms. ??? 

He said his lawyers had already written to Dr Morai seeking clarity over his confiscated firearms, and whether she intended to pursue her predecessor’s “witch-hunt” against him. 

“I warn and advise her (Morai) that she must not be like her predecessor. Run away from being like?Ntate?Holomo who was using the police officers to persecute politicians,” Mr Mofomobe said. 

“They have since taken my guns. They don’t explain whether they are investigating anything. That’s because the then Commissioner was using the police officers to fight his own political battles. 

“Fortunately, my lawyers have written to Dr Morai?asking her to make herself clear whether she will continue with Mr Molibeli’s witch hunt or whether she sticks to the LMPS’s mandate. 

“My hope is that she does the police mandate instead of politics. But we applaud the fact that Mr Molibeli has retired,” he said. 

In the same feat, he lectured Mr Mafisa to work on the NSS mandate only, instead of seizing people’s phones. 

“We also like to applaud Mr Mafisa who has just been appointed to act as Director General at NSS. Stick to the mandate of the NSS. Stop witch hunts against (opposition) politicians. 

“I advise?ntate?Mafisa to stick to the NSS mandate and advise the Prime Minister on security issues only. 

“Stop going to people’s houses searching for phones, stop persecuting people, that’s not your job,” he said, adding that?Lieutenant General Letsoela’s time to complete his term was also coming. ?? 

“Of the three people that rose against the Constitution, two are gone and one is left. His time is coming. The Constitution is strong. Democracy will resist people who are burdened by the national flags. It will spit you out! Even this last one, the power of democracy will spit you out. It is only a matter of time, and I will still be here in the political sphere,” he said. 

Mr Ralenkoane had secured a search and seizure warrant from Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Limpho Tau, on 16 May 2023 which led to NSS officers raiding Mr Mofomobe’s Ha Thetsane home seeking his mobile phones. The NSS officers had managed to confiscate two mobile phones of Democratic Congress deputy spokesperson, Moeketsi Shale on 18 May 2023 while Mr Mofomobe had refused to hand over his. Nonetheless, the Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal subsequently nullified section 26 of the NSS Act which empowered the NSS to act in that fashion. 

Contacted for comment, Dr Morai told said she had no business in politics but police work. 

“My mandate is to do the police work. I am not aware of the allegations he (Mr Mofomobe) says he (Mr Molibeli) was using the police officers for political issues,” she said. ? 

She said she has not received the letter that Mr Mofomobe claims has been written to her. 

“No, I have never received such a letter,” she said.? 

 

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