Jonathan: a hero or cold-blooded murderer?

Jonathan: a hero or cold-blooded murderer?

When I read the letter that former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisli sent to President Ramaphosa, at first I thought the old man must retire indeed, he is out of touch with reality and that he must have been bored at home. How could he waste his own time by writing a letter to President Ramaphosa and give so much prominence to such a non-event?
Though I did not agree with his letter at first but I agreed with Evelyn Beatrice Hall that I needed to defend his right to express himself: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” she said.

In the second thought, I appreciated the facts which were written in this letter. The letter has triggered emotions from all sorts of backgrounds. For the first time we can reflect on who Jonathan is and what he stood for.

I submit the following evidence for the public’s review and consideration. My intention is not to exhort nor to rescind the African National Congress’ offer to honour Jonathan.
It is well known that after he realised that his Basotho National Party (BNP) had lost the 1970 elections, as the results we being announced on the 31st January 1970, Leabua as the Prime Minister declared a coup d’état on the national radio.

“I have seized power. I am not ashamed of it. It may appear undemocratic, but I have most of the people behind me,” he told a stunned nation.
Some argue that the results of the 1970 election were not officially announced so therefore, we cannot conclusively know who had won or lost those elections. My argument is very simple, just because the final results were not officially announced does not mean the results were not known.
Leabua’s supporters would prefer to find comfort in the fact that they intentionally stopped the process of officially announcing the results. Why did Jonathan stop the whole election exercise before final results were officially announced?

Once Leabua’s regime pronounced itself an undemocratic government, they declared a “state of emergency.” Leabua’s regime upon the declaration of the “state of emergency” suspended the constitution of Lesotho.

Leabua’s regime then put King Moshoeshoe ll under house arrest because they suspected and believed that the King sympathized with the Basotho Congress Party (BCP), which had won elections.
Since the declaration of the “state of emergency”, Leabua’s regime ordered the imprisonment of a major opposition leader, Dr Ntsu Mokhehle and some members of his party.
It is well known that the Leabua regime committed murders and massacres of its own people. The regime operated as a military state in Lesotho with informants and spies infiltrating the household level and killing Basotho Congress Party sympathisers.

Leabua then ruled through a “state of emergency” until he was toppled by his own in 1986 with the help of the South African apartheid regime.
Leabua’s regime decided to cling on to power until the bitter end when he was toppled by members of his own political party. And who wouldn’t topple him, given some of those cruelties of his regime?

Losing power opened up an entirely unpredictable situation for Leabua in which his rivals within his own party were able to enact revenge.
Truth be told, I never thought BNP supporters would be so outspoken on the issue of Mosisili’s letter because they toppled their own leader, who had become a very dangerous dictator.
By so doing they saved us all. They denied him an opportunity to see the end until he was very sick and it was very late to recover from cancer. His own people denied him a state funeral.
The BNP is in power now and all they have done is to fight for the state funeral of Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, yet their so-called hero was buried like an ordinary village man.
The problem that any dictator has in staying in power if they have been there a very long time, is that they either are believed to have a terminal illness, or they have the terminal illness that we all have – they are very old. But I wish to thank his own BNP members who ended his time in government.

Until his own people ended his government, Leabua’s drive to cling on to power was very strong. And it’s that fight for survival which explains why Leabua behaved the way he did. It’s also that fight that defined and destroyed the lives of the people he ruled.

Any ruler who declares a coup d’état, suspends the constitution, rules by decree, imprisons those who oppose him and murders them is a dictator my dear friends. Such a person has no place in international nor national honours.

What exactly is he receiving accolades for, a coup d’état, brutality and murdering his own people!? The ANC can honour their dictator, it’s their democratic right!
Leabua should have learned from Chief Sekhonyana Nehemia ‘Maseribane who served as Prime Minister of Lesotho from 6 May 1965 to 7 July 1965 when he handed over power to Leabua.
My heroes as far as democracy is concerned are Mosisili and Thomas Thabane. The two rectified Leabua’s bad legacy.

By: Ramahooana matlosa

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