Thabane not a dictator – Khasu
ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) deputy leader, Tlali Khasu, has disputed allegations that party leader Thomas Thabane unilaterally cancelled the youth league elective conference, saying it was postponed by the ABCYL.
The youth wing of the main opposition party was scheduled to hold its elective conference from 31 August to 2 September 2015. Delegates from the country’s 80 constituencies had converged at Maseru High School for the ill-fated indaba which would have elected the party’s national youth league committee.
According to Mr Khasu, the conference was postponed after a “plea” by Dr Thabane that he be present during the event, adding that it was up to the youth league to accept or reject the request.
“The ABC has an executive that takes care of all administrative issues,” he said.
“Ntate Thabane did not cancel the conference because the party was his personal property, but made a plea that he would like to be present during the elective youth conference and asked for postponement.
“What is being said on social media is intended to cause factions and misunderstanding within ABC.”
He continued: “After talking with my leader on Saturday, I agreed with the executive that we must let the youth league make a decision on the leader’s plea because the constituency representatives were already at Maseru High School where the elections were supposed to take place.
“I opened the conference and left the ABCYL to make the decision of either continuing with the elections or considering our leader’s plea. I can’t give you detailed feedback from the conference because the ABC National Executive Committee (NEC) has not received the full report from the conference yet, but we were briefly told that they decided to postpone the elections and wait for their leader to come back home.”
Asked to respond to allegations that the NEC meeting held in Ficksburg, South Africa was meant to confront Dr Thabane about making decisions that “compromise the dignity of the party”, Mr Khasu confirmed holding the meeting but refuted its purported agenda.
“The NEC meets with Dr Thabane every month to discuss administrative issues of the party, but his plea to the youth league has nothing to do with compromising the party,” said Mr Khasu.
“It is people who want to see the death of the ABC who want to take advantage of the situation and twist everything.”
However, sources have said Dr Thabane wanted the conference cancelled after realising that his nephew, Selimo Thabane, was poised to clinch the ABCYL presidency from the incumbent Taelo Ntsokotsane.
The sources said Dr Thabane had argued that he didn’t want the Thabane family to hog the leadership positions since it would then appear like a “family thing”.
However, ABCYL constituency representatives who attended the conference on 29 August 2015 told the Sunday Express they would still elect Selimo “even if we have to wait for a year”.
“We understand the position of our leader (Dr Thabane), but we support Selimo because we have seen him actively participate in the growth of the party,” said the group in unison.
“He is a real leader and we want him to take over the youth league leadership.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Selimo said the claims that Dr Thabane did not want him to be elected as ABCYL president “were the sayings of rumourmongers”.
“I heard those rumours that Dr Thabane has said he doesn’t support me, but they remain mere hearsay because nobody has discussed that issue with me,” Selimo said.
“It is not true that the conference was cancelled because Dr Thabane didn’t want me to contest for the presidency. It was because he wanted to be present for the ABCYL elective conference.
“In addition to that, the opposition has been concerned about the security situation in the country and there was no way we could have held the conference while our leader was still in exile and with the security situation still the way it is.”
Repeated efforts to get a comment from Mr Ntsokotsane were fruitless by the time of going to print yesterday.