LCD women shelve nude protest

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

THE Le­sotho Con­gress for Democ­racy’s Women’s League’s (LCDWL) has shelved plans for a nude over the al­leged fail­ure by the govern­ment to pro­vide “sat­is­fac­tory” up­dates on an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the fa­tal shoot­ing of Prime Min­is­ter Thomas Tha­bane’s wife, Lipolelo Tha­bane, say­ing the cold weather had forced them to keep their clothes on.

Ms Tha­bane was shot dead by an un­known as­sailant as she was about to drive into her Ha ‘Masana home on 14 June 2017. The in­ci­dent oc­curred just two days be­fore Dr Tha­bane’s in­au­gu­ra­tion as prime min­is­ter for the sec­ond time.

A fe­male com­pan­ion of Ms Tha­bane also sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the case are still on­go­ing, with no ar­rests as yet ac­cord­ing to the po­lice.

How­ever, in a press con­fer­ence held late last month at the LCD head­quar­ters in Maseru, the party be­moaned the lack of progress in the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, say­ing by now the sus­pects should have been ap­pre­hended.

LCD women’s league rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Li­neo Tlali, said they had writ­ten a let­ter to the Min­is­ter of Po­lice and copied the let­ter to the Le­sotho Fed­er­a­tion of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and Women and Law in South­ern Africa (WLSA), whose re­sponses they were ea­gerly await­ing.

“We want them to help us make noise about this killing, and if our grievances are not re­sponded to, in the month of Au­gust, we shall take to the streets naked if that’s what it takes for women get pro­tec­tion in our own coun­try,” Ms Tlali said at the time.

Women’s Month is cel­e­brated in Au­gust as a tribute to the more than 20 000 South African women who marched to the Union Build­ings in Pre­to­ria on 9 Au­gust 1956 protest­ing against the ex­ten­sion of pass laws to women in that coun­try.

How­ever, the ea­gerly awaited naked protest has still not ma­te­ri­alised with LCDWL Deputy Pres­i­dent, ’Maeket­sang ’Molotsi, telling the Sun­day Ex­press on Fri­day that the cold weather had forced them to put on hold their plans.

She said they would soon meet to map the way for­ward on the is­sue.

“I can’t re­ally say whether or not we just post­poned or we are go­ing to call the march off al­to­gether,” ’Molotsi said, adding, “We will meet as a com­mit­tee and look into it”.

“Up un­til now the only thing that’s re­ally stop­ping us is the cold weather.”

The LCDWL even vowed to en­gage pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors over the fa­tal shoot­ing.

Ms ’ Molotsi said they still had not re­ceived any re­sponse from the Min­is­ter of Po­lice, the FIDA and WLSA.

The re­cip­i­ents of the let­ter have pre­vi­ously ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt but are still to com­ment.

Po­lice Spokesper­son, In­spec­tor Mpiti Mopeli, said a nude protest was tan­ta­mount to pub- lic in­de­cency which was an offence and there­fore would not be tol­er­ated.

“The per­mit shall be pro­cessed with ex­pressed terms and con­di­tions and if they pa­rade naked in the streets, that would be pub­lic in­de­cency and that will be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion,” Insp Mopeli said.

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