Moleleki rebuts Thabane talks
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.