BNP bars rs Leuta from om con­fer­ence nce

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE -

BA­SOTHO Na­tional Party (BNP) Sec­re­tary Gen­eral (SG) Le­so­jane Leuta was yes­ter­day de­nied en­try into the party’s women’s league elec­tive con­fer­ence at Methodist High School al­legedly for com­ing to the venue un­der mil­i­tary guard.

Mr Leuta al­legedly leads a fac­tion seek­ing to un­seat the party’s hi­er­ar­chy at next week­end’s elec­tive con­fer­ence and has since claimed his life is in dan­ger be­cause of this chal­lenge.

BNP deputy leader Joang Mo­lapo yes­ter­day con­firmed Mr Leuta had been barred from at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence be­cause of his “se­cu­rity”.

Chief Mo­lapo said: “It is an in­sult for the SG of the party to come to a con­fer­ence with armed body­guards claim­ing his life is in dan­ger as if party mem­bers are mur­der­ers.

“The leader of this party (Th­e­sele ‘ Maserib­ane) made the same claim that his life was in dan­ger, but his is­sue was not at­tended to un­til he had to flee the country. Yet, an or­di­nary Mosotho man who is the SG of the same po­lit­i­cal party has been pro­vided mil­i­tary se­cu­rity with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.”

Asked how he knew the guards were mil­i­tary per­son­nel, Chief Mo­lapo said: “I was Home Af­fairs min­is­ter not so long ago, and I know how mil­i­tary guards for VIPs look and who they are. The ones I don’t know are those who were re­cently de­ployed to the unit.”

BNP spokesper­son Mach­esetsa Mo­fo­mobe said Mr Leuta’s “mil­i­tary guards” had “shocked” party sup­port­ers.

“We were shocked to see Ntate Leuta un­der mil­i­tary se­cu­rity sim­i­lar to that of­fered to VIPs af­ter mak­ing claims that his life was in dan­ger,” Mr Mo­fo­mobe said.

Mean­while, Mr Leuta re­fused to talk to the Sun­day Ex­press on the is­sue yes­ter­day.

Con­tacted for com­ment yes­ter­day, De­fence and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Tšeliso Mokhosi said: “Ntate Leuta’s life is im­por­tant not only to the na­tion­al­ists but the congress par­ties and the Ba­sotho na­tion at large.

“That is why he must be given se­cu­rity if need be. It is the mil­i­tary’s duty and man­date to pro- tect Ba­sotho, their prop­erty and the country as a whole.

“De­spite pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity, sol- diers also pa­trol every­where in the country for mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence pur­poses.”

BnP Sec­re­tary-gen­eral le­so­jane leuta

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