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Moleleki slams Mokhothu, Mahao

 

’Marafaele Mohloboli

ALLIANCE of Democrats (AD) leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki has slammed Democratic Congress (DC) leader Mathibeli Mokhothu and All Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader Professor Nqosa Mahao over alleged graft and vindictiveness.

Addressing a weekend strategic meeting of his party at ’Mamathe High School in Berea, Mr Moleleki accused Prof Mahao of vindictiveness after the June 2015 murder of his younger brother, former army commander Lieutenant General (Lt-Gen) Maaparankoe Mahao.

Lt-Gen Mahao was murdered by fellow soldiers under the command of former army commander, Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli. The army claimed at the time that Lt-Gen Mahao had been shot while resisting arrest for allegedly leading a mutiny aimed at toppling Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli’s command. The claims were later trashed by a SADC commission of inquiry which subsequently recommended the arrest and prosecution of Lt-Gen Mahao’s killers. Lt-Gen Tlali Kamoli is among those who have been charged with the murder.

Mr Moleleki, who has previously expressed support for an amnesty for all those accused of human rights violations, accused Prof Mahao of pursuing a vendetta against his brother’s alleged killers.

He said the Law and Justice minister ought to have forgiven his brother’s alleged killers just like the founder of the Basotho nation, King Moshoeshoe 1 had done in the 19th century.

“The founder of this nation did not avenge his grandfather’s death after he was eaten by the cannibals. Instead, he conducted some cleansing rituals for them and forgave them. Yet today there is a group of professors and doctors who have been to the university but still want people to be imprisoned or even killed because they killed their relatives,” Mr Moleleki said in reference to Prof Mahao.

The former Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader said similar vindictiveness was one of the reasons why he and others left the party to form the AD in December 2016.

“We started this party because the DC-led government had taken a wrong turn. There were three leaders of other parties who had been in exile for two years and the DC enjoyed seeing them rot away in a foreign country just like those who are today wishing that others rot in jail,” Mr Moleleki said.

This was in reference to All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane who had fled to South Africa along with Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele Maseribane and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) leader, Keketso Rantšo.

The trio fled in 2015 in fear for their lives during the tenure of the seven parties’ governing coalition which was led by then DC leader, Pakalitha Mosisili. They only returned in 2017 just a month before the collapse of the Mosisili regime which gave way to the Thabane administration which lasted from June 2017 until it was replaced by the current Moeketsi Majoro-led government in May 2020.

Apart from victimising Mr Thabane and others, Mr Moleleki said he left the DC because it had engaged in corruption by awarding a massively inflated vehicle fleet services tender to South African company Bidvest Ltd.

“In addition, one of the most disheartening reasons for our leaving the DC was the corruption where women and girls had to give sexual favours in exchange for jobs.

“Sadly, some of them did not even get the jobs even after giving sexual favours. When we told our leader about this, he turned a deaf ear but today the truth is out.”

In apparent reference to Mr Mokhothu who succeeded Mr Mosisili as DC leader, Mr Moleleki said, “it didn’t take long before these political novices started holding beauty pageants and models started disappearing because they were being sold to foreigners.

“The government is ignorant of this matter and they are selling this country’s citizenship to aliens. Today everything is out and there is no place to hide because the truth cannot be hidden,” he said in reference to allegations that the DC leadership was complicit in human trafficking activities alongside some foreign nationals.

He also predicted that the ABC and DC-led coalition would not last its two-year tenure.

Meanwhile, Prof Mahao said he would not be drawn into a war of words with Mr Moleleki.

“It is quite ironic that all this is being said by a man who fished for an honorary doctorate just so that he could be somewhere close to the professors. However, I have no time to engage in petty politics. I am into the politics of development and not this type of politics where people demean others for no reason,” said Prof Mahao.

Mr Mokhothu’s mobile phone rang unanswered when the Sunday Express called him for comment.

However, DC deputy leader and Home Affairs Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa dismissed Mr Moleleki’s accusations as “baseless and cheap politicking”.

 

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