MFP in­fight­ing spills into court

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing 11 for­mer mem­bers of the Mare­mat­lou Free­dom Party (MFP) Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC), on Mon­day urged the High Court to rule the party’s cur­rent com­mit­tee un­con­sti­tu­tional.

Ad­vo­cate lerato Mokhe­seng made the plea when mo­ti­vat­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion by the ousted com­mit­tee be­fore Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi.

Ac­cord­ing to pa­pers filed be­fore the court on 2 Fe­bru­ary this year, the ap­pli­cants want the court to “in­ter­dict and re­strain” the cur­rent com­mit­tee “from per­form­ing the du­ties of the of­fice of the Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee pend­ing fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the pro­ceed­ings herein”.

They also want the com­mit­tee to be “set aside and de­clared null and void ab ini­tio.””

The ap­pli­cants fur­ther want the court to de­clare them the law­ful com­mit­tee of the party.

The ap­pli­cants are Ger­ard lin­tša Mo- fube, David Ntših­lele, ‘Malempe Mphana, Than­dek­ile Nzunqu, ‘Makeletso Pha­furi, Ben­jamin Tuma­hole, ‘Matha­bang lekoala, ‘Man­toetse Mo­hale, Al­fred Khomon­n­goe, Din­gani Thulo and Stephen Mok­iba.

MFP leader Vin­cent Moeketse Malebo, the new NEC, Ned­bank le­sotho, the In­de­pen­dent elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) and At­tor­ney Gen­eral have been cited as first to sixth re­spon­dent, re­spec­tively.

Ad­vo­cate Mokhe­seng told the court the con­fer­ence which elected the com­mit­tee on 29 Jan­uary this year was not man­dated to do so.

“It was sup­posed to be an emer­gency con­fer­ence where prepa­ra­tions were go­ing to be made for a gen­eral con­fer­ence.

“At the very emer­gency con­fer­ence, there was sup­posed to be a cre­den­tials com­mit­tee com­posed of three mem­bers and that com­mit­tee was sup­posed to be ap­pointed by the Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee.

“In­stead, the sec­ond re­spon­dent (Mr Malebo) in­tro­duced two peo­ple who were not known to the ap­pli­cants to be mem- bers of the cre­den­tials com­mit­tee.

“That was an ir­reg­u­lar­ity,” Ad­vo­cate Mokhe­seng said.

How­ever, the re­spon­dents’ lawyer, King’s Coun­sel (KC) Molefi Ntl­hoki was quick to shoot down this ar­gu­ment.

“In their own pa­pers, they make a con­ces­sion that the mat­ter was set­tled.

“It means the mat­ter was raised but re­solved, so it is a non-is­sue now,” KC Ntl­hoki said and urged the court to dis­miss the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Jus­tice Mon­aphathi re­served judg­ment in the mat­ter.

The MFP and le­sotho Peo­ple’s Congress (LPC) were in­def­i­nitely sus­pended from IEC ac­tiv­i­ties on 7 April this year un­til the two gov­ern­ing par­ties re­solve their in­ter­nal dis­putes.

The MFP, LPC, Demo­cratic Congress, le­sotho Congress for Democ­racy, Pop­u­lar Front for Democ­racy, Ba­sotho Congress Party, and Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Party formed a coali­tion gov­ern­ment af­ter the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 snap elec­tions had re­sulted in a hung par­lia­ment.

MFP leader Vin­cent Moeketse Malebo

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