Coali­tion blasts SADC

Lesotho Times - - News - Mot­samai Mokotjo

es­pe­cially its chair­per­son, Jus­tice Mpa­phi Phumaphi, of bias against him. The case has since been post­poned to 18-19 Jan­uary 2016 due to the un­avail­abil­ity of a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing one of the re­spon­dents.

Be­cause of the court ap­pli­ca­tion, the Phumaphi re­port has not been made pub­lic al­though it was sub­mit­ted to the SADC troika on pol­i­tics, de­fence and se­cu­rity com­pris­ing South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, Mozam­bi­can Pres­i­dent Filipe Nyusi and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of new Tan­za­nian Pres­i­dent John Magu­fuli in Jo­han­nes­burg on 5 De­cem­ber 2015.

The troika dis­patched Mr Ramaphosa, who is also the bloc’s fa­cil­i­ta­tor to Le­sotho, to “ex­pe­di­tiously com­mu­ni­cate the con­cerns of SADC to the King­dom of Le­sotho.”

Mr Ramaphosa jet­ted into the coun­try yes­ter­day and met Dr Mo­sisili and mem­bers of the coali­tion govern­ment, the op­po­si­tion as well as civil and faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions, be­fore leav­ing for Mozam­bique to brief Pres­i­dent Nyusi.

In their state­ment, read by LPC spokesper­son, Bokang Ra­matšella, the seven rul­ing par­ties said govern­ment would not agree to “dis­re­gard the law” by ig­nor­ing the court chal­lenge.

“Our an­swer is still the same; the govern­ment of Le­sotho will not be part of an at­tempt to re­lease the re­port by a com­mis­sion whose con­duct is be­ing chal­lenged in the courts of law,” Mr Ra­matšella said.

“The fa­cil­i­ta­tor and SADC should tell us if they want us to dis­re­gard the courts. If the in­quiry’s rec­om­men­da­tions are re­vealed and the courts need to in­ter­vene, should those af­fected not fol­low suit in dis­re­gard­ing the courts of law?

“We re­gard this step by SADC (of en­gag­ing govern­ment on the court case), as a strat­egy to make this coun­try un­govern­able. If we refuse to com­ply, they will ac­cuse us of be­ing un­ruly.”

The par­ties fur­ther ar­gued that the com­mis­sion de­vi­ated from its core man­date by re­fus­ing to in­cor­po­rate the govern­ment’s ad­di­tions to its terms of ref­er­ence. Dr Mo­sisili had sug­gested ad­di­tions to the Com­mis­sion’s terms of ref­er­ence, which largely fo­cused on his pre­de­ces­sor Thomas Tha­bane’s al­leged mis­con­duct while in of­fice. How­ever, Jus­tice Phumaphi re­fused to in­cor­po­rate the ad­di­tions, say­ing he would only be guided by the SADC terms and that any ad­di­tions should come from the bloc.

Con­tacted for com­ment, BNP spokesper­son, Mach­esetsa Mo­fo­mobe said Dr Mo­sisili and the coali­tion had be­come Lt-col Hashatsi’s “mouth­pieces”.

“Wher­ever Dr Mo­sisili goes, he speaks on Hashatsi’s be­half. He has be­come Hashatsi’s spokesper­son,” Mr Mo­fo­mobe said.

“How­ever, diplo­matic pres­sure from SADC and other bod­ies will ul­ti­mately make the govern­ment change its tune.”

LPC spokesper­son Bokang Ra­matšella.

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