De­tained sol­diers ‘in trou­ble’ over kids protest

Lesotho Times - - News -

cally mo­ti­vated, adding: “There is noth­ing po­lit­i­cal about our at­tempt to com­fort each other as daugh­ters and sons of the de­tained sol­diers, those who fled the coun­try and the chil­dren of Ntate Ma­hao.”

How­ever, LDF Public Af­fairs Of­fi­cer, Colonel Ntlele Ntoi, yes­ter­day de­nied the al­leged pun­ish­ment of the sol­diers.

“This is sur­pris­ing be­cause all sol­diers in de­ten­tion con­tinue to re­ceive food and there are no sol­diers placed un­der soli­tary con­fine­ment,” said Colonel Ntoi.

Act­ing De­fence and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Tam­pane also de­nied the al­leged pun­ish­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter Tam­pane, the al­leged ill-treat­ment of the sol­diers was pro­pa­ganda en­gi­neered by op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties each time de­vel­op­ment part­ners visit Le­sotho. United States Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for South­ern Africa and Public Diplo­macy, Todd Haskell, is in Le­sotho to see the im­pact of the Amer­i­can govern­ment’s sup­port for pro­grammes aimed at fight­ing the scourge of HIV and AIDS.

He also met govern­ment of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion yes­ter­day to dis­cuss, among oth- ers, the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.

“When I learned about these claims, I sent one of my of­fi­cials to find out what was re­ally go­ing on at the de­ten­tion cen­tre.

“But we have since es­tab­lished that the op­po­si­tion is in­flu­enc­ing these chil­dren to or­gan­ise the walk with­out their par­ents’ knowl­edge,” Ms Tam­pane said.

“I also made in­quiries with the LDF Com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli who as­sured me that his in­quiries into the mat­ter had re­vealed that the al­le­ga­tions are not true.”

Min­is­ter Tam­pane fur­ther said the al­le­ga­tions are meant to tar­nish the im­age of the govern­ment, with the hope that Le­sotho is shunned by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly de­vel­op­ment part­ners, for per­ceived hu­man rights abuses.

“When­ever we have a vis­i­tor, es­pe­cially de­vel­op­ment part­ners from the United States, the op­po­si­tion comes up with false ac­cu­sa­tions against the govern­ment and the army in their at­tempt to get at­ten­tion,” she said.

Mean­while the de­tainees’ Court Mar­tial pro­ceed­ings have since been post­poned to 6 Septem­ber 2016 to al­low the sol­diers’ chal-

lenge of the le­gal­ity of their trial, which was re­ferred to the Court Mar­tial Ap­peal Court in Fe­bru­ary this year, to be finalised.

All in all, the sol­diers who have been charged for al­leged mutiny are 23 and their names are Bri­gadier Mareka, Bri­gadier Poqa Mo­toa, Colonel Ste­mere, Colonel Kolisang, Ma­jor Makhetha, Cap­tain Chaka, Sec­ond-lieu­tenant Mo­hasi, Sergeant Mokhobo, Sergeant Se­makale, Sergeant Lekhabun­yane, Cor­po­ral Mokhoro, Cor­po­ral Let­si­lane, Cor­po­ral Lipoto, Cor­po­ral Manaka, Cor­po­ral Mo­hat­lane, Cor­po­ral Chele, Cor­po­ral Mot­seko, Lance-cor­po­ral Jobo, Lance-cor­po­ral Molefi, Lance-cor­po­ral Makhooane, Pri­vate Pama, Pri­vate Bolofo and Pri­vate Ral­itlemo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.