Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili yesterday told the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into Le­sotho’s in­sta­bil­ity that he rec­om­mended the reap­point­ment of Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli as Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) com­man­der be­cause he “ab­so­lutely” trusted him.

Dr Mo­sisili was tes­ti­fy­ing be­fore the nine­mem­ber com­mis­sion which com­menced its in­quiry on Mon­day this week.

Among other terms of ref­er­ence the com­mis­sion is man­dated to probe is the le­gal­ity of Lt Gen Kamoli’s re­moval as head of LDF in 2014 and his reap­point­ment in 2015. It is also sup­posed to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions by op­po­si­tion par­ties and civil so­ci­ety groups that Lt Gen Kamoli’s reap­point­ment had re­sulted in di­vi­sions in the LDF and led to po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity in­sta­bil­ity.

Lt Gen Kamoli was dis­missed by then Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane on 29 Au­gust 2014 for al­leged in­sub­or­di­na­tion. How­ever, Lt Gen Kamoli, who had been re­placed as army com­man­der by the slain Maa­parankoe Ma­hao re­jected the dis­missal, chal­leng­ing its le­git­i­macy. He then launched an at­tempted an at­tempted putsch a day af­ter his dis­missal throw­ing the coun­try into tur­moil.

But, af­ter Dr Tha­bane re­lin­quished power in the wake of the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions, a new seven-party al­liance led by Dr Mo­sisili, formed gov­ern­ment and in­di­cated that Lt Gen Kamoli’s dis­missal and Bri­gadier Ma­hao’s pro­mo­tion, were illegal. Lt Gen Kamoli was re­in­stated in a Gov­ern­ment Gazette dated 21 May 2015 with another gazette is­sued on the same day ter­mi­nat­ing Ma­hao’s ap­point­ment as LDF com­man­der.

Dr Mo­sisili told the com­mis­sion that Lt Gen Kamoli was “un­law­fully” re­moved from of­fice.

“But other than that, I rec­om­mended the reap­point­ment of Lt Gen Kamoli be­cause I ab­so­lutely trust him. We op­er­ate on the ba­sis of trust,” said Dr Mo­sisili.

Dur­ing the cross ex­am­i­na­tion by Ad­vo­cate Haae Phoofolo (King’s Coun­cil) be­fore the com­mis­sion, Dr Mo­sisili was asked by the lawyer whether or not he had ap­plied his mind “ra­tio­nally” in rec­om­mend­ing Lt Gen Kamoli’s reap­point­ment.

Ad­vo­cate Phoofolo said: “You were told by one of the (SADC) com­mis­sion­ers, for in­stance that Lt Gen Kamoli had re­fused to hand over sus­pects in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties by the army. Are you say­ing that it was a ra­tio­nal de­ci­sion to reap­point some­one who doesn’t obey the law in that re­gard?”

In his re­sponse, Dr Mo­sisili said: “I al­ways ap­ply my mind ra­tio­nally when I act on mat­ters of state and gov­ern­ment. So yes I did. When you ap­point some­one, you ap­point them on the ba­sis of the facts be­fore you.

“You don’t know what that per­son will do the next day. The things that he had done were premised on the view that his re­moval was un­law­ful. I ap­plied my mind and de­ter­mined that his re­moval was un­law­ful. That was a very ra­tio­nal con­sid­er­a­tion of the sit­u­a­tion.”

He con­tin­ued: “I main­tain that I did the right thing to re­in­state an of­fi­cer that had been un­law­fully re­moved from of­fice. I main­tain that I was reg­u­lar­is­ing a sit­u­a­tion that had been com­pletely flawed.”

Dr Mo­sisili was also ques­tioned about the 27 Jan­uary 2014 si­mul­ta­ne­ous bomb­ings of the Moshoeshoe II homes of Li­a­biloe Ramo­holi (Dr Tha­bane’s wife), and ‘Mamoshoeshoe Mo­let­sane and the Ha Abia res­i­dence of for­mer po­lice com­mis­sioner Khothatso Tšooana.

“My ques­tion to you is; are you aware that a docket had been opened in re­la­tion to this mat­ter and there were sus­pects iden­ti­fied by the po­lice?” Ad­vo­cate Phoofolo said.

To this, the premier said: “I was not aware. That is pre­cisely why I, if you will re­call the orig­i­nal terms (for the SADC com­mis­sion) that were gazette, in­cluded the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into that in­ci­dent be­cause we

PRIME Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili (right) tes­ti­fies dur­ing yesterday’s hear­ing.

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