ABC scoffs at EFF al­liance ru­mours

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE main op­po­si­tion All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) has dis­missed ru­mours it has joined forces with South African op­po­si­tion party Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) to desta­bilise the African Na­tional Congress-led (ANC) gov­ern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment re­leased on Fri­day, the ABC said it would never jeop­ar­dise the stay of the tri­par­tite op­po­si­tion bloc lead­ers and other Ba­sotho ex­iled in South Africa by at­tempt­ing to fight the ANC.

The ru­mours al­leged that the Julius Malema-led EFF was try­ing to lever­age the ABC’S in­flu­ence in some parts of the neigh­bour­ing coun­try to make in­roads in ANC strongholds.

ABC leader Thomas Tha­bane, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party (BNP) leader Th­e­sele ‘Maserib­ane and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho (RCL) leader Keketso Ran­tšo fled Le­sotho in May 2015 claim­ing some mem­bers of the Le­sotho De­fence Force (LDF) were out to kill them, which the mil­i­tary has since cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied.

Some mem­bers of the se­cu­rity sec­tor and op­po­si­tion ac­tivists also fled the coun­try be­tween 2014 and 2016 claim­ing their lives were in dan­ger.

“As the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the ABC, we want to as­sure the Ba­sotho na­tion, our fol­low­ers and our part­ners in the op­po­si­tion, BNP and RCL, that we would never breach our part­ner­ship agree­ment by at­tack­ing or fight­ing the ANC in any way,” read the state­ment signed by ABC Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sa­monyane Nt­sekele.

“We have noth­ing to do with these ru­mours and duly dis­tance our­selves from them. We also want to apol­o­gise to the gov­ern­ment of South Africa and the ANC for any in­con­ve­nience these ru­mours might have caused.”

The ABC said South Africa and the ANC had been very sup­port­ive of the op­po­si­tion lead­ers and other ex­iles by pro­vid­ing them refuge and pro­tec­tion.

“Re­mem­ber that op­po­si­tion lead­ers, mem­bers of the LDF, Le­sotho Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice and po­lice in ex­ile have been sup­ported by the Anc-led South African gov­ern­ment. There­fore, we can’t over­look the fact that the ANC is play­ing a vi­tal role of giv­ing us pro­tec­tion,”the ABC said.

Mean­while, the ABC can­celled its star rally which was sup­posed to take place last Sat- ur­day in Ficks­burg, where Dr Tha­bane has been liv­ing since he fled the coun­try.

Mr Nt­sekele told the Le­sotho Times’ sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Sun­day Ex­press, the can­cel­la­tion was meant to allow for “thor­ough prepa­ra­tions” for the rally which is ex­pected to at- tract a huge crowd.

At­tempts to reach the South African High Com­mis­sion tele­phon­i­cally were fruit­less yes­ter­day, as some phones went unan­swered while oth­ers were not avail­able.

ABC Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sa­monyane Nt­sekele.

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