Democratic Congress youths return

Democratic Congress youths return

Staff Reporter

MASERU – MEMBERS of the Democratic Congress (DC) youth league who fled the country two weeks ago returned home on Monday.

Letuka Chafotsa, the youth league general secretary who was part of those who skipped the country, confirmed their return but said he would not comment further as the party’s national executive committee was still seized with the matter.

“I can’t say anything as of now, maybe later when the national executive committee has deliberated on the matter,” Chafotsa said.

Also the party’s secretary general Ralechate ’Mokose said the national executive committee “did not complete the discussions on the issue, perhaps we will hold a press conference when we have finished”.

The DC youth leaders with the exception of the president Thuso Litjobo fled the country two weeks ago claiming the police were planning to torture them to reveal the identity of the person who leaked a classified government document to them.

The document shows that a local company, Lebelonyane Fleet Solutions, had won a tender to supply the government with fleet services but the tender was cancelled illegally.

The youths accused Finance Minister ’Mamphono Khaketla of demanding a M4 million bribe from Lebelonyane and when the company refused she told its directors that they would not win the tender.

Khaketla reported the theft of the document to the police and also lodged a case of criminal defamation after which the police called the youths together with the Lebelonyane directors and their lawyer, Advocate Tembo Lesupi, for questioning.

The youths and the company directors then fled the country claiming they had information that the police had been instructed to torture them so that they could reveal who had leaked the document to them.

Khaketla has since denied the allegations levelled against her.

The police too have denied that they had been instructed to torture the youths.

The youths returned from South Africa on Monday and held a meeting with the DC national executive committee that afternoon.

A source close to the matter told thepost that the national executive committee itself is divided over the allegations the youths levelled against Khaketla, with one group pushing for her suspension pending investigations while the other opposes the suggestion.

“That is why the NEC does not know how to handle this issue. It is so difficult and confusing that we have to handle it with utmost care or else we risk splitting the party,” the source said.

Another source said the issue “is so confusing and destabilising that there are some who want to push for the disbandment of the youth league leadership”.

“You can see members of the NEC grouping themselves by factions before or after the meetings, which shows that all is not well in there,” the source said.

However, ’Mokose said he could not comment because “I’m not aware of these things you are talking about”.

“All I can say is we did not finish our business and when we have finished it you will know and you will have something to write about,” ’Mokose said.

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