MP cries foul over ha­rass­ment

Lesotho Times - - News - Staff Reporter

ALLIANCE of Democrats (AD) leg­is­la­tor, Tjoet­sane Seoka says he will not be cowed by se­cu­rity of­fi­cers who he ac­cused of ha­rass­ing and in­tim­i­dat­ing op­po­si­tion politi­cians.

Mr Seoka, who is the Thaba-moea Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, said this in the af­ter­math of an in­ci­dent on Satur­day in which he al­leged that he and rev­ellers were sub­jected to acts of ha­rass­ment by military and po­lice de­tails who stormed his bar at Ha Mot­lo­h­eloa.

Mr Seoka said the of­fi­cers in­vaded the bar on the pre­text that “there was in­sta­bil­ity in the coun­try which forced them to en­sure that ev­ery cit­i­zen was safe”.

He said in­stead, they be­gan “push­ing” and search­ing ev­ery­one in­side the bar.

“The bar in ques­tion is mine and I was among peo­ple who were pushed in­side by the uni­formed mem­bers of the army and one po­lice of­fi­cer who stormed the bar,” Mr Seoka said.

“I tried to rea­son with them that the ap­proach they were us­ing would only taint the im­age of the army but they were not in­ter­ested in what I was say­ing,” he charged, adding “I even told them that I am a for­mer mem­ber of the army and knew very well that they were not sup­posed to be con­duct­ing them­selves in that man­ner”.

He said he was sub­jected to fur­ther ha­rass­ment when they dis­cov­ered that he had a per­sonal gun and de­manded a li­cence for it.

“I in­formed them I had left it at home and they drove me to my place in Ha ‘Ne­lese at gun­point.

“As a for­mer mem­ber of the army, I told them that they must treat me like a mem­ber of par­lia­ment and that they were at lib­erty to ar­rest me if I failed to pro­duce a li­cense upon ar­rival at my house,” he said.

He said that he was dis­ap­pointed at the way the se­cu­rity of­fi­cers han­dled the mat­ter, adding it was not a co­in­ci­dence that they stormed his bar where the AD equip­ment like bill­boards were kept for safety.

He how­ever, said he would not be in­tim­i­dated.

“I have a demo­cratic to ex­er­cise and if in­tim­i­dat­ing, tor­tur­ing and killing peo­ple make them happy, they must con­tinue to do what pleases them but they should know that this is not the end,” Mr Seoka said.

Asked if he re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice, Mr Seoka said “I will not re­port a ser­vant to his mas­ter. It will be just a waste of time.”

Con­tacted for com­ment, deputy po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior In­spec­tor Ler­ato Mot­seki said the Spe­cial Sup­port Unit (SSU) which is made up of both army and po­lice of­fi­cers was not aware of the in­ci­dent.

“The SSU de­part­ment says it had op­er­a­tions in De­cem­ber where they were go­ing to pub­lic bars look­ing for il­le­gal firearms. They how­ever said they were not aware of the in­ci­dent which you are re­fer­ring to,” Se­nior In­spec­tor Mot­seki said.

AD leg­is­la­tor Tjoet­sane Seoka.

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