Moleleki re­buts Tha­bane talks

Lesotho Times - - News - Keiso Mohloboli Keiso Mohloboli

Demo­cratic congress (Dc) deputy leader, monyane moleleki, has fi­nally bro­ken his si­lence over al­le­ga­tions he met all Ba­sotho con­ven­tion (abc) leader thomas tha­bane in South africa to dis­cuss forg­ing an al­liance that would top­ple Prime min­is­ter Pakalitha mo­sisili.

So­cial media has been awash with the al­leged plot and in a se­cretly recorded au­dio, Le­sotho congress for Democ­racy (LCD) spokesper­son, te­boho Sekata, also al­leges mr moleleki held sev­eral meet­ings with Dr tha­bane in Dur­ban to dis­cuss the deal.

mr moleleki had re­frained from com­ment­ing on the is­sue as well as claims by Dc in­sid­ers that he was lead­ing a fac­tion push­ing for Dr mo­sisili’s ouster as party leader be­fore his term ex­pires in 2018.

But ad­dress­ing a Dc rally of about 1000 sup­port­ers held in Ha Ntsi in machache con­stituency on Sun­day, mr moleleki ended his si­lence over the is­sue and con­demned the al­le­ga­tions as “lies”, in­sist­ing he re­spected Dr mo­sisili as both party leader and Prime min­is­ter. mr moleleki said he never met Dr tha­bane over an al­liance, adding it was im­pos­si­ble for him to work with the abc leader “be­cause he hates me”.

“Ntate mo­sisili is the leader of the Dc; he is still the only leader of this party. i ap­peal to you, machache youths, to re­main united and never let this con­fu­sion di­vide you.

“What you have heard on lo­cal ra­dios is not true; the peo­ple spec­u­lat­ing such lies just want to see this party in tat­ters,” mr moleleki said.

“You all know that i was per­se­cuted by a per­son who was cam­paign­ing at this very ground claim­ing that i stole gov­ern­ment money and brought it to machache to buy votes.

“i have been called a thief by peo­ple wear­ing yellow tee-shirts and who are led by that per­son who was cam­paign­ing at this very ground us­ing my name, and claim­ing that i stole di­a­monds. that per­son even claimed that i stored the di­a­monds in my afro hair, so how can i form an al­liance with such a per­son?”

Pressed by the Le­sotho Times if he meant he never tried to form an al­liance with Dr tha­bane since abc mem­bers wear pre­dom­i­nantly yellow re­galia which he had con­stantly re­ferred to in his speech, mr moleleki said: “that’s cor­rect; i never met with Ntate tha­bane as al­leged through var­i­ous media plat­forms.

“For the record, i never met Ntate tha­bane in South africa as al­leged and never en­tered into an agree­ment with him to form a gov­ern­ment. We used to get along with Ntate tha­bane when we were both in the LCD but now he hates me which makes it im­pos­si­ble for us to work together.”

on the other hand, mr moleleki also urged machache res­i­dents not to be di­vided by “colo­nial rem­nants”. Demo­cratic congress (Dc) deputy leader monyane moleleki on Sun­day lashed out at Den­mark for dis­re­spect­ing Ba­sotho and spon­sor­ing a lo­cal non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, De­vel­op­ment for Peace ed­u­ca­tion (DPE), to con­duct a study he con­demned as un­der­min­ing Le­sotho’s sovereignty.

ad­dress­ing a rally at­tended by about 1000 Dc sup­port­ers in machache, mr moleleki said this lack of re­spect was the rea­son Le­sotho closed its Den­mark embassy and re­lo­cated to Ja­pan while he was still For­eign af­fairs min­is­ter.

mr moleleki, who is also machache mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (mp) and min­is­ter of Po­lice, told the cheer­ing crowd that it was time he “ex­posed” how the gov­ern­ment of Den­mark ill-treated him and fel­low min­is­ters in the early 2000s, and was now out to desta­bilise Le­sotho through civil so­ci­ety.

“the Dan­ish were not fair to us and de­nied Le­sotho fund­ing to build meto­long dam, but now they sup­port ini­tia­tives that want to mis­lead chil­dren of this coun­try.

“i see it as un­fair for an NGO to barge into machache con­stituency for a 30-minute gath­er­ing and then ask the peo­ple to an­swer a ques­tion­naire with very se­ri­ous ques­tions about the army’s com­pe­tence and train­ing or whether this coun­try needs the army or not. then again, who are the Dan­ish to de­cide how our own cab­i­net must be elected?” mr moleleki thun­dered, as he bran­dished the DPE ques­tion­naire in ques­tion.

He claimed a lo­cal non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion by the name Den­mark Le­sotho Net­work has been ask­ing Ba­sotho ques­tions

mr moleleki said due to the “ter­ri­ble” treat­ment he and fel­low min­is­ters were sub­jected to in Den­mark in 2002 while he was still min­is­ter of min­ing and Nat­u­ral re­sources, and the cold re­cep­tion given to for­mer Labour and em­ploy­ment min­is­ter ad­vo­cate re­filoe masemene, he ad­vised Prime min­is­ter Pakalitha mo­sisili to close Le­sotho’s embassy in protest.

“in 2002, i went to Den­mark together with the then For­eign af­fairs min­is­ter Dr thomas tha­bane, who is now leader of the (main op­po­si­tion) all Ba­sotho con­ven­tion (abc).

“the cab­i­net of Le­sotho sent us there to seek funds from the Dan­ish gov­ern­ment, not as a do­na­tion but a loan to sup­port the meto­long dam project.

“When we ar­rived in Den­mark, we were put in a small of­fice and at­tended by a Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary who didn’t even bother to tell us the min­istry she was from.

“the lady sat in front of us smok­ing a cig­a­rette in a very ir­ri­tat­ing man­ner. Both me and Ntate tha­bane are not smok­ers and felt very of­fended to be at­tended by a lady who was busy blow­ing smoke into our faces as we ex­plained why we were in Den­mark. in be­tween her smok­ing, she just told us that that the gov­ern­ment was not in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing dam projects be­cause they oc­cupy a lot of land.

“Ba­sotho are since en­joy­ing clean water from the same project that the Dan­ish gov­ern­ment didn’t sup­port, yet they now have the money to sup­port this NGO,” mr moleleki said.

He also spoke about how Le­sotho’s first blind min­is­ter, ad­vo­cate masemene, was turned back to Le­sotho af­ter he ar­rived at co-

he said were un­ac­cept­able.

the ques­tions, he added, in­cluded whether Le­sotho should have an army, if the army needs in­ten­sive train­ing and how cab­i­net must be ap­pointed.

He also said it was dis­re­spect­ful for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to hold pub­lic gath­er­ings in machache con­stituency, which he rep­re­sents in par­lia­ment, with­out in­form­ing him first and on time.

“Den­mark Le­sotho Net­work uses colo­nial rem­nants to di­vide Ba­sotho. i want civil so­ci­ety and non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions to work with the gov­ern­ment in a re­spect­ful man­ner and in uni­son,” mr moleleki said.

“But of­fi­cials from this or­gan­i­sa­tion only phoned me on a Fri­day to in­vite me to a gath­er­ing to be held on Sun­day. there was no for­mal writ­ten in­vi­ta­tion, noth­ing. i think such or­gan­i­sa­tions must not let the Dan­ish de­cide for them how to treat dig­ni­taries.

“it was also un­fair for the or­ga­ni­za­tion to come here and ask peo­ple to an­swer a ques­tion­naire at short notice. it would be fair for such an or­gan­i­sa­tion to give peo­ple of machache time to go through the ques­tion­naire and then give their re­sponse af­ter care­fully go­ing through the ques­tions.”

the Le­sotho Times, how­ever, es­tab­lished from the ques­tion­naire given to machache res­i­dents that the non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion that held a pub­lic gath­er­ing in the area was De­vel­op­ment for Peace ed­u­ca­tion (DPE).

But DPE Peace ed­u­ca­tion re­searcher ‘ma­bataung Secker said she in­vited mr moleleki a week be­fore the gath­er­ing and not two days be­fore the event as the min­is­ter was al­leg­ing.

“i called Ntate moleleki’s of­fice and asked for the pro­ce­dure to be fol­lowed when our pen­hagen in­ter­na­tional air­port with­out a visa for his en­try.

“i was For­eign af­fairs min­is­ter at the time when Den­mark hosted a dis­abil­ity con­fer­ence and cab­i­net nom­i­nated ad­vo­cate masemene to rep­re­sent Le­sotho at that meet­ing.

“i can’t re­mem­ber the ex­act year but all the prepa­ra­tions were made and Ntate masemene went to Den­mark with his wife, who was his per­sonal sec­re­tary.

“Upon ar­rival at the air­port, he was told by im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers that he was not go­ing to be granted an emer­gency visa, and had to re­turn to Le­sotho and ap­ply for one here. Le­sotho’s am­bas­sador to Den­mark, Dr Khati, tried to in­ter­vene but it did not help. the min­is­ter was put on the next flight back to Le­sotho and never at­tended that con­fer­ence or set his foot on the soil of Den­mark.

“i then ap­proached Dr mo­sisili and asked him to al­low me to close the Le­sotho embassy in that coun­try be­cause they didn’t re­spect us and also did not care about the re­la­tion­ship they had with Le­sotho. Dr mo­sisili gave me the go-ahead to shut the embassy down which we did, and opened an­other one in Ja­pan.

“Per­son­ally, i am of the view that the Dan­ish don’t re­spect a black per­son; that is why they gave us such a bad re­cep­tion,” mr moleleki said.

“i am say­ing this for Ba­sotho to know that the Dan­ish don’t re­spect them yet they want to de­ter­mine how we run the coun­try’s pil­lars of gov­er­nance.”

asked about mr moleleki’s speech, Den­mark’s Honorary con­sul to Le­sotho Si­mon Phafane said he was not man­dated to speak to the media on be­half of the Dan­ish gov­ern­ment.

“my only duty is to as­sist Ba­sotho when they want to ap­ply for visas. in fact, i sim­ply re­fer them to the Den­mark embassy in Pre­to­ria, South africa.

“But what i can tell you is there is cur­rently no Le­sotho embassy in Den­mark,” mr Phafane said.

on the other hand, DPE coun­try co­or­di­na­tor So­fonea Shale said he could not en­gage in a slang­ing match with mr moleleki.

“i don’t want to an­swer Ntate moleleki’s claims be­cause he is an el­der by age and po­si­tion. the only thing i can say is that DPE has been run­ning cam­paigns aimed at en­abling or­di­nary cit­i­zens to voice their views about re­form pro­cesses. “to date, we have been to more than 70 con­stituen­cies. then again, DPE in­tro­duced that cam­paign to the gov­ern­ment even be­fore it started. What Ntate moleleki is say­ing doesn’t match his po­si­tion and that is all i can say,” mr Shale said. or­gan­i­sa­tion wants to in­vite the min­is­ter to the gath­er­ing. the lady who an­swered the phone as­sisted me but when i called to make a fol­low up, i learnt that mr moleleki still didn’t know about our in­vite and we went to his of­fice to sub­mit our in­vi­ta­tion yet again. i want to as­sume the de­lay in in­form­ing him about the visit was caused by his of­fice and not the DPE,” ms Secker said.

on his part, DPE coun­try co­or­di­na­tor, So­fonea Shale, said he did not want to re­spond to mr moleleki’s claims that Ngos were rem­nants of colo­nial­ists.

“i don’t want to an­swer to Ntate moleleki’s claims be­cause he is an el­der by age and po­si­tion. the only thing i can say is DPE has been run­ning cam­paigns aimed at en­abling or­di­nary cit­i­zens to voice their views re­gard­ing re­form pro­cesses.

“We have been to more than 70 con­stituen­cies and again, DPE in­tro­duced that cam­paign to the gov­ern­ment even be­fore it started. What Ntate moleleki is say­ing doesn’t match his po­si­tion and that is all i can say,” mr Shale said.

DPE coun­try co­or­di­na­tor So­fonea Shale.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Monyane Moleleki.

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