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Political hara-kiri

ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Tom Thabane, the man who aspires to run this peace-loving nation, has threatened to kill this paper’s chief reporter and its editor.

Our crime: publishing a story on Thabane’s estranged wife’s allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of the opposition leader’s cousin Thaabe Thabane.

Thaabe has already appeared in court facing a charge under the Sexual Offences Act.

The ABC leader’s wife of 25 years, ’Mampolokeng Thabane, has also alleged she was bashed by her husband’s sons from a previous marriage.

She has also reported the assault to the police.

Thabane didn’t want us to publish the story this week or any other time because he deemed it so private he would shoot to kill over it.

In a country beset by domestic violence, it would be diabolic and outrageous for any paper worth its salt to spike such a sad story even if Thabane had his gun cocked.

We will not be cowed by foolhardy politicians into abdicating our duty to inform the public about issues of interest to them.

If Thabane is interested in getting people’s votes why should the very same people not be interested in everything newsworthy happening around him?

It is ridiculous for Thabane to attempt to hide behind a veil of privacy when he knows his life became public the moment he decided to run for public office.

What makes it worse is that Thabane is threatening to use violence to conceal a case of alleged sexual abuse, a subject which should be central to his campaign if he is serious about becoming Lesotho’s next prime minister.

Women and children in this country are raped week in week out.

Instead of using the case right before his own nose to demonstrate to potential voters how he would fight sexual abuse and domestic violence if he is ever to be voted into office, Thabane went bonkers.

“I have a job to do, a job to remove this cruel government and I am not going to be distracted by you and your editor,” Thabane barked when asked for his comment on his wife’s claims.

It’s ironic that Thabane talks about removing a “cruel government” when at the same time he wants to use cruel means to gag the media.

What the ABC leader doesn’t realise is that he is advertising his unsuitability to govern a democratic country.

He is apparently telling his supporters and the voters in this country that he is prone to using barbaric ways to have his way.

Anywhere else such threats would have spelt political hara-kiri for Thabane.

His actions are an affront to media freedom, the rule of law and democracy.

If Thabane is serious about his threats he owes the thousands who voted for his party an apology for deceiving them into believing he was capable of forming an alternative government.

Real politicians leave such gun-toting antics to buffoons, charlatans and criminals.

But if he is bold enough to carry the threat he should know the world will hold him personally responsible for the silly act.

And because he has made such a reckless statement Thabane should also be prepared to be held accountable for the actions of any of his supporters.

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