NUL con­demns Se­jana­mane at­tack

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli

THE na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) Se­nate has con­demned the week­end at­tack on the home of Pro­fes­sor Mafa Se­jana­mane.

Un­known as­sailants at­tacked the aca­demic’s Mazenod home at around 2am on Satur­day.

Prof Se­jana­mane, who is nul’s Pro Vice-chan­cel­lor, said he first heard two gun­shots which were im­me­di­ately fol­lowed by his home’s shat­ter­ing win­dow­panes.

At the time of the at­tack, only Prof Se­jana­mane and his daugh­ter were in the house and none of them was in­jured. The pro­fes­sor said he found six stones, one in­side the house and the rest out­side by the bro­ken win­dows, which he sus­pects were part of the arse­nal the as­sailants used to at­tack his res­i­dence.

Pro­fes­sor Se­jana­mane said he sus­pected the at­tack had some­thing to do with his crit­i­cal anal­y­sis about Le­sotho’s cur­rent po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in both the print and elec­tronic me­dia.

In a state­ment re­leased on Tues­day, the univer­sity’s Se­nate ap­pealed for in­ter­na­tional as­sis­tance in bring­ing law and or­der in Le­sotho, while strongly con­demn­ing Satur­day’s at­tack.

The state­ment signed by NUL Regis­trar Lite­boho Maqa­lika Lerotholi reads: “By now Ba­sotho and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will have heard that early on the morn­ing of Satur­day 7th May 2016, un­known as­sailants fired gun­shot at the grounds of Pro­fes­sor Mafa Se­jana­mane’s homestead, and pelted his bed­room with stones.

“Prof Se­jana­mane is not only a prom­i­nent staff mem­ber of NUL but also the for­mer act­ing Vice Chan­cel­lor, a well-re­spected po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist and pub­lic in­tel­lec­tual.

“The NUL Se­nate is thank­ful that Prof Se­jana­mane and mem­bers of his fam­ily were not hurt in the in­ci­dent. we de­plore the trauma this un­war­ranted act of ag­gres­sion sub­jected them to.”

The state­ment fur­ther said it was not easy to sep­a­rate the at­tack from sim­i­lar in­ci­dents which have hap­pened in Le­sotho.

The state­ment con­tin­ues: “while it re­mains un­clear who was be­hind the at­tack, and what their rea­sons were, it is dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate the at­tack from other sim­i­lar re­cent in­ci­dents in the coun­try, and from the gen­eral break­down of the rule of law in the coun­try which has ex­posed cit­i­zens to un­prece­dented in­se­cu­rity in re­cent months.

“The reign­ing law­less­ness has en­gen­dered fer­tile ground for all forms of crim­i­nal­ity, in­clud­ing un­leash­ing those who want to sow fear and si­lence the na­tion through in­tim­i­da­tion and ag­gres­sion. Prof Se­jana­mane him­self has pub­licly stated that he sus­pects the at­tack on his home was car­ried out by those who are op­posed to his views, es­pe­cially to his con­sis­tent call for the govern­ment to im­ple­ment SADC di­rec­tives on the po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.

“In this re­gard, Prof Se­jana­mane is cer­tainly not alone to have earned the wrath of those who are de­ter­mined to un­der­mine the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SADC di­rec­tives through in­tim­i­dat­ing the en­tire na­tion to sub­mis­sion.”

The Se­nate also urged the govern­ment to en­sure the po­lice find and bring to jus­tice those be­hind the at­tack on Prof Se­jana­mane and other cit­i­zens some of whom have lost their lives or fled the coun­try .

“We af­firm the trite prin­ci­ple that it is the duty of aca­demics in the dis­charge of their vo­ca­tion to search for the truth, and to speak truth to power.

“Any threat to this prin­ci­ple is an at­tack on the en­tire global com­mu­nity of schol­ars,” the state­ment adds.

“On these grounds, the NUL Se­nate ap­peals to the As­so­ci­a­tion of African Uni­ver­si­ties, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mon­wealth Uni­ver­si­ties, the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Uni­ver­si­ties, UNESCO, SADC, African Union, United na­tions and all Hu­man Rights or­gan­i­sa­tions to con­demn the reign of ter­ror pre­vail­ing in Le­sotho.

“we call upon these or­gan­i­sa­tions to pre­vail on the Le­sotho govern­ment to re­store, in Le­sotho, con­di­tions in which hu­man rights are ob­served, and aca­demic free­dom is pro­tected.

“In uni­son, they must call for the ur­gent im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Jan­uary 2016 Gaborone, Botswana, SADC res­o­lu­tions on Le­sotho, which are the only fea­si­ble pre­con­di­tions for last­ing peace, sta­bil­ity and the se­cu­rity of all the cit­i­zens in Le­sotho.”

Mean­while, Prof Se­jana­mane yes­ter­day said the po­lice had not in­formed him of de­vel­op­ments to their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the at­tack.

Po­lice spokesper­son Su­per­in­ten­dant Clif­ford Molefe also said the po­lice were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter.

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