The year 2010 will go down in history as the year when every Tom, Dick and Khotso used one excuse to explain why they were absent from whereever they were expected. I was at the World Cup.
“Why didn’t you come to my wedding?”
“I was at the World Cup.”
“Why didn’t you attend your uncle’s funeral?”
“I was in Rustenberg.”
“At the World Cup”
Some more silence.
“I had tickets.”
Well, we at Newsmakers & Noisemakers will not be giving the World Cup as an excuse for our long absence from this corner of your Sunday read.
We are happy to be back doing what we know best so let’s get down to business.
Law Society of Lesotho
And so it’s on to our noisemaker of the week. The mighty Law Society of Lesotho.
The society has been up in arms over the conferment of the title of King’s Counsel on the Director of Public Prosecutions, Leaba Thetsane.
It filed an application in the High Court seeking an order to strip Thetsane of the title saying he did not deserve it. The court ruled against the society. The society appealed in the Appeal Court, which upheld the ruling.
Honestly? One would think the Law Society has got more pressing matters to attend to in our nascent democracy.
Granted, it is the society’s role to act as the voice of the legal profession and represent the interests of its members. It also plays a key role in guiding and regulating the profession.
However, a more worthwhile pursuit for Zwelakhe Mda and his friends would be driving law reform through policy submissions and open dialogue with the government, parliamentary bodies, the courts and — ironically — the Attorney-General’s Office.
There are too many important law reforms going on in this country for the society to worry about who the king wants as his counsel.
The society should be vocal about its position on issues such as the Land Bill and the request by the opposition for an amendment of the Local Government Elections Act.
It should worry itself about the working conditions for judges and other legal professionals as well as the capacity of the courts to effectively deal with cases before them.
Besides, let’s be honest here, if you were king, would you let other people choose your inner circle?
If a week is a long time in politics, then a few weeks in Lesotho’s politics are long enough for a shocking turn of the tables.
We speak here of the recent cabinet reshuffle where the prime minister said hasta la vista to four ministers, replacing them with four new ones.
Ostensibly, this exercise was carried out to improve efficiency in service delivery but those in the know say the changes reflect the shift in the balance of power within the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
What’s really going on behind the scenes? When the manure hits the fan we will be there to let you know.
And things are not all honky-dory in the All Basotho Convention (ABC) either.
Again, only a few weeks ago, it looked as if the end was nigh for Macaefa Billy (pictured below). Ejected unceremoniously from the ABC, the country’s biggest political party, Billy went back to his Lesotho Workers Party where the first order of business was to fight a bunch of foes who had long decided that he no longer held sway in the party.
The man was on his knees. Stabbed in the back by those he trusted the most. The kind of stuff you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Yet there it was being dished out by his friends.
Fast-forward to today and a new picture is forming — and it seems to be quite different. The ABC executive is facing an internal rebellion as the youth league insists that, in their view, Billy is still the secretary-general.
“The problem with the national committee is that they are running the party like their company. They think they can expel people as and when they want,” the ABC Youth League’s suspended publicity secretary, Jane Mohoalohoalo, tells the Sunday Express elsewhere in this issue.
Add to the mix the fact that ABC leader Tom Thabane himself has been in the news for all the wrong reasons — and dare we speculate — who knows what a Billy comeback might hold.
It’s all part of the dirty game that is politics. The current flurry of activity is a harbinger of things to come in 2012.
We live in interesting times.