Ex­iles blast govt for sab­o­tage ‘claims’

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

EX­ILED Ba­sotho liv­ing in South Africa have ac­cused De­fence Min­is­ter Tšeliso Mokhosi and other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of ped­dling “un­founded and mis­lead­ing” ac­cu­sa­tions that they were be­hind the spate of arson and acts of sab­o­tage.

In a state­ment read on their be­half yes­ter­day by ex-premier Thomas Tha­bane’s for­mer press at­taché Thabo Thakalekoala at the Maseru Bridge bor­der post, the ex­iles take is­sue with Mr Mokhosi’s al­leged claims that the crim­i­nal acts were per­pe­trated by Ba­sotho based in SA.

“These ma­li­cious, ir­re­spon­si­ble and highly provoca­tive state­ments made by Mr Mokhosi and other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the me­dia in the past few days con­cern the re­cent burn­ing of a shop­ping com­plex in the Butha-buthe dis­trict, the burn­ing of the Pitso House in Leribe and other acts of crim­i­nal­ity such as the heinous, cold blooded and cal­lous murders of in­no­cent Ba­sotho re­sid­ing within the bor­ders of the King­dom of Le­sotho,” Mr Thakalekoala said.

He said Le­sotho had be­come a “law­less state” since the seven-party coali­tion gov­ern­ment led by Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili took over in 2015.

“The spate of crime in­clud­ing mur­der, in­tim­i­da­tion, ha­rass­ment and at­tacks on mem­bers of op­po­si­tion par­ties, lawyers, sol­diers and in­no­cent peo­ple have in­creased at an alarm­ing rate,” said Mr Thakalekoala.

“That be­ing the case, we have not, at any given point in time seen the gov­ern­ment stand­ing up and con­demn­ing such hor­ri­ble acts. We have not seen the gov­ern­ment putting in place con­crete and tough mea­sures to curb the es­ca­lat­ing rate of crime and law­less­ness, and bring­ing per­pe­tra­tors of such un­civilised acts to book.”

He said the De­fence min­is­ter had no ba­sis for in­sin­u­at­ing ex­iled Ba­sotho were be­hind the at­tacks since they could not af­ford to “abuse the hos­pi­tal­ity af­forded us by the (SA) gov­ern­ment” by us­ing their coun­try as a spring­board for an armed at­tack in Le­sotho.

“As in­di­vid­u­als here, we have not been in­volved in any crimes hap­pen­ing in Le­sotho and it is in­ap­pro­pri­ate for Ntate Mokhosi to make such se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions about us,” Mr Thakalekoala said.

“These ac­tions of state spon­sored ter­ror­ism are merely in­tended to make the Ba­sotho na­tion lose fo­cus on press­ing is­sues such as the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions of the SADC Com­mis­sion of in­quiry, the mat­ter that put the gov­ern­ment in a dilemma and a tight cor­ner.”

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from Mr Mokhosi yes­ter­day were fruit­less at the time of go­ing to print.

Thabo Thakalekoala

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