Court to de­cide on DC ind­aba

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

THE High Court is to­day ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion on whether the Demo­cratic Congress (DC) party spe­cial conference will go ahead to­mor­row as planned.

DC leader, Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili called a spe­cial conference for DC mem­bers from to­mor­row un­til Sun­day to de­cide the fate of 10 mem­bers of the party’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) who are locked in a bit­ter strug­gle with him for con­trol of the party.

In his in­vi­ta­tion to DC mem­bers, Dr Mo­sisili al­leged the 10 NEC mem­bers, in­clud­ing his deputy Monyane Moleleki, had thrown the party into dis­re­pute through their at­tempts to un­seat him.

He has since sus­pended them pend­ing the de­ci­sion of the spe­cial conference.

He also filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the High Court last Fri­day to com­pel them to hand over party sym­bols.

Dr Mo­sisili also wants the court to en­dorse his sus­pen­sion of the 10 NEC mem­bers “in terms of clause 5.3.1 (h) of the con­sti­tu­tion of the Demo­cratic Congress”.

The 10 NEC mem­bers have also lodged a High Court ap­pli­ca­tion of their own, chal­leng­ing Dr Mo­sisili’s le­git­i­macy as DC leader fol­low­ing his sus­pen­sion from the party by the NEC.

They also want the court block the spe­cial conference he has called for to­mor­row.

But on Mon­day, the court con­sol­i­dated the two ap­pli­ca­tions so that they could be ar­gued to­gether.

The court also de­cided that the ap­pli­ca­tions would be ar­gued to­day to fi­nal­ity.

The fall­out es­ca­lated in re­cent weeks af­ter NEC fol­lowed up on their de­ci­sion to with­draw from the seven par­ties’ coali­tion government by sign­ing a coali­tion agree­ment with the tri­par­tite op­po­si­tion bloc last Thurs­day to oust the seven-party coali­tion government led by Dr Mo­sisili.

Un­der the pact with the All Ba­sotho Con­ven­tion, Ba­sotho Na­tional Party and Re­formed Congress of Le­sotho, Mr Molel- eki would head the coali­tion for the first 18 months in the event they form government.

The coali­tion pact has likely put paid to any chances of the strife-torn DC rec­on­cil­ing as the two fac­tions aligned to the two glad­i­a­tors had al­ready dug in their heels. Mr Moleleki is an avowed mem­ber of the DC’S Liru­rubele (but­ter­flies) fac­tion that is fight­ing the Lithope (girl­friends) group­ing which sup­ports Dr Mo­sisili, for the con­trol of the party.

The bulk of the NEC who are aligned to Mr Moleleki, on 10 Novem­ber this year with­drew the DC from the seven-party gov­ern­ing coali­tion government and or­dered party mem­bers, in­clud­ing Dr Mo­sisili, to re­sign from their government po­si­tions.

Dr Mo­sisili has since dis­missed the move as “null and void”, say­ing the NEC did not have the pow­ers to make such a de­ci­sion.

Mr Moleleki as well as four other min­is­ters and deputies re­signed from government, be­fore mov­ing to the Na­tional Assem­bly’s cross- bench to sig­nify their with­drawal from the government.

The NEC went on to sus­pend Dr Mo­sisili for al­leged mis­con­duct, but the premier has in­sisted he re­mains DC leader and called for the emer­gency party conference from 2 to 4 De­cem­ber this year to take “harsh dis­ci­plinary mea­sures” on the NEC for its de­ci­sions that are “dan­ger­ous to the party”.

He said the “so-called sus­pen­sion” was an il­le­gal at­tempt to hi­jack his con­sti­tu­tional pow­ers as party leader by “rebels” led by Mr Moleleki.

Dr Mo­sisili said the “rebels” also in­cluded DC Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ralechate ’Mokose, Chair­per­son ’Maboiketlo Maliehe, Deputy Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Re­filoe Litjobo, Deputy Chair­per­son Kose Makoa, Deputy Ed­i­tor Retšelisit­soe Masenyetse, Sec­ond Mem­ber Ndi­wuh­leli Nd­lo­mose, third mem­ber ’Mathabo Shao, fourth mem­ber Retha­bile Marumo and Youth League President Thuso Litjobo.

Last week, the Prime Min­is­ter also sus­pended Mr Moleleki and nine other NEC mem­bers af­ter they failed to re­spond to his let­ters re­quest­ing them to mo­ti­vate why they should not be sus­pended.

In the court ap­pli­ca­tion lodged on Fri­day, Dr Mo­sisili, to­gether with DC spokesper­son Se­ri­a­long Qoo, Trea­surer ‘Mam­phono Khaketla and ‘Maphak­iso Moseme want the court to or­der the 10 NEC mem­bers to hand over the of­fi­cial let­ter­head, stamp and any other DC of­fice equip­ment pend­ing the con­ven­ing of the spe­cial conference.

Mr Moleleki and ‘Mokose are cited as first and sec­ond re­spon­dents, while Ms Maliehe, Mr Nd­lo­mose, Mr Makoa, Ms Marumo, Mr Masenyetse, Re­filoe and Thuso Litjobo as well as Ms Shao are cited as third to tenth re­spon­dents re­spec­tively.

In their cer­tifi­cate of ur­gency, the ap­pli­cants ar­gue Mr Moleleki is en­gaged in “on­go­ing acts of un­law­ful­ness” and “caus­ing con­fu­sion within the party”.

The ap­pli­cants also ar­gue that the 10 NEC mem­bers are “il­le­gally in­ter­fer­ing with the party pro­cesses aimed at ad­dress­ing their re­bel­lious be­hav­iour”.

Dr Mo­sisili and his co-ap­pli­cants are seek­ing an or­der for the re­spon­dents to be or­dered to “de­sist forth­with” from com­mu­ni­cat­ing and mak­ing pub­li­ca­tions in the name of the party pend­ing fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the case.

On the NEC’S de­ci­sion to pull out of the coali­tion government, Dr Mo­sisili ar­gues it was un­pro­ce­du­ral and thus un­law­ful as there was no meet­ing called to dis­cuss the is­sue.

Dr Mo­sisili says af­ter Mr Moleleki and other min­is­ters re­signed, they con­tin­ued mak­ing me­dia an­nounce­ments about the DC “that were aimed at de­stroy­ing peace­ful re­la­tions that the DC has with its part­ners in the coali­tion government”.

DC deputy leader Monyane Moleleki.

DC Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ralechate ’Mokose.

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