Mets­ing warns ‘rogue’ so­cial ocial me­dia users ers

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing says the gov­ern­ment is work­ing “on bring­ing to order” peo­ple who mis­use so­cial me­dia to un­set­tle others by post­ing “un­founded” al­le­ga­tions of pos­si­ble threats on their lives. At a press briefing this week, Mr Mets­ing de­scribed so­cial me­dia as a very im­por­tant tool for so­ci­etal de­vel­op­ment but nev­er­the­less em­pha­sized it needed to be used with cau­tion. “What we are go­ing to do is to see to it that these peo­ple who are for­ever post­ing these lies are nabbed,” he said. “So­cial me­dia is very im­por­tant as it helps in the re­lay­ing of mes­sages fast and con­ve­niently. But it can simul- taneously be bad if not han­dled prop­erly. It can be a dou­ble-edged sword. We there­fore ap­peal to every­one who uses this plat­form not to mis­use it.”

Mr Mets­ing said it was un­for­tu­nate that some Ba­sotho had been forced to flee the coun­try, os­ten­si­bly in fear of their lives af­ter the post­ing of false mes­sages that there were peo­ple out to kill them.

“All these are un­founded al­le­ga­tions meant to bring the coun­try into dis­re­pute and make the out­side world be­lieve there is no peace in Le­sotho.”

He said there was no rea­son for peo­ple not to tip-off the po­lice about any such threats, if they in­deed ex­isted, in­stead of plac­ing them on Face­book and other so­cial me­dia plat­forms and un­set­tling others.

“There is sim­ply no rea­son why peo­ple should not do that if there are any cred­i­ble threats against any­one.

“The prob­lem is that there are peo­ple out there act­ing with im­punity in abus­ing so­cial me­dia …..,” the deputy premier said.

“So much lies have been told on so­cial me- dia that I don’t un­der­stand why no­body has been asked to ac­count for their lies.

“There is no bet­ter rea­son why this con­tin­ues to hap­pen ex­cept of course the ma­li­cious in­tent of those abus­ing so­cial me­dia.”

He added: “The hand of jus­tice is long and sooner than later we shall nab those who are caus­ing dis­tress to others by post­ing these lies.”

Demo­cratic Congress (DC) youth league pres­i­dent Thuso Litjobo re­cently said he had re­ceived some threats via a Face­book tip off but would not flee the coun­try.

“I have re­ceived no con­crete threats ex­cept the Face­book tip-off. But given that this is Le­sotho and I am a politi­cian, I won’t re­lax about it.

“I shall con­stantly be look­ing over my shoul­der given that sev­eral politi­cians have died fol­low­ing tip-offs which they did not take se­ri­ously,” said Mr Litjobo.

He said he was not sur­prised that some­one could be bay­ing for his blood be­cause “I am a hur­dle and a threat to many politi­cians who want to desta­bilise the DC and I am quite strong at win­ning over other party cadres.”

ALL Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion (ABC) leader Thomas Tha­bane, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party’s Th­e­sele ’Maserib­ane and Keketso Ran­tšo of the Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho have been liv­ing in ex­ile since May 2015 af­ter flee­ing for their lives cit­ing threats against them. Some of the threats em­anated from so­cial me­dia.

Three weeks ago, ABC MP for Maseru Con­stituency Num­ber 32 Le­sego Mak­gothi fled the coun­try, while Kha­fung Num­ber 23 leg­is­la­tor Habo­fa­noe Le­hana went into hid­ing claim­ing their lives were in dan­ger. Their de­par­ture brings to seven, the num­ber of ABC MPS hid­ing in South Africa. “All these are un­founded al­le­ga­tions meant to bring the coun­try into dis­re­pute and make the out­side world be­lieve there is no peace in Le­sotho

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing.

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