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Thabane’s guns ‘confiscated’

by Sunday Express
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Exiled leader of All Basotho Convention-ABC Thomas Motsoahae Thabane

Staff Writer

THE All Basotho Convention (ABC) says licensed guns belonging to party leader Thomas Thabane’s security detail were yesterday confiscated by police and army members as the former premier was on his way to Qacha’s Nek for a political rally scheduled for today.

According to ABC spokesperson Tefo Mapesela, Dr Thabane’s entourage encountered a roadblock mounted by members of the police and army in Ha-Sekake village about 30km from Qacha’s Nek.

“We were stopped by the soldiers and police officers at around 2pm in the afternoon and they proceeded to tell Ntate Thabane’s guards to hand over the weapons and their licenses so that they could check if they were legal,” he said.

“After the guns and their licenses were handed over, the police and army members did not return them to the guards but told us to proceed despite our protestations. When we asked them why they had confiscated the guns, they refused to explain.

“We were very shocked by the confiscation of the guns because they were all licenced and there was no logical reason to take them from us.”

He said the ABC had perceived the incident as an intimidation tactic ahead of the 3 June 2017 snap general elections. The ABC and other opposition bloc parties, Alliance of Democrats, Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho successfully passed a parliamentary no-confidence vote on the seven-party coalition government on 1 March 2017.

King Letsie III dissolved parliament on 6 March 2017 and proclaimed 3 June as election day.

“We can only assume this move was an attempt to intimidate us ahead of the elections. It certainly raises fears about the safety and security of our leader given what has happened in the past in this country,” Mr Mapesela said.

Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Superintendent Clifford Molefe said he was unaware of the incident, telling the Sunday Express he would have more details by today.

“I don’t have such a report on my desk right now. I can only get such information tomorrow,” he said.

LDF spokesperson, Brigadier Ntlele Ntoi, refused to comment when contacted by this paper yesterday.



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