I’m traumatised, says MoAfrika boss

I’m traumatised, says MoAfrika boss

MASERU – MOAFRIKA FM managing director Ratabane Ramainoane says he is seeking the services of a psychologist to help him cope with his trauma. Ramainoane was arrested at the High Court premises last Friday.
He was however released into the custody of his lawyer Attorney Qhalehang Letsika at around 10 pm on the same day.
Ramainoane reported himself again to the police on Monday but was asked to report again today.

He said he is being charged with criminal defamation under the Penal Code No 6 of 2010.
In a statement last week, human rights body, Amnesty International, condemned the arrest and charging of Ramainoane.
It described the arrest as “nothing more than a witch-hunt aimed at harassing and intimidating the country’s press”.

It added that the defamation charge “is spurious and cynical” and was meant to send a chilling message to other media owners of the consequences they face for scrutinising the government. Ramainoane says he is seeking the services of a psychologist to help him cope with his ordeal.
“I was traumatised by the arrest,” he told thepost this week.

He said he is still reeling from the emotional trauma of losing his wife just a month ago.
Ramainoane said the criminal defamation charge is now weighing heavily on his shoulders.
The charge came a few days after the government temporarily shut down his MoAfrika FM radio station last Wednesday.

Acting Minister of Communications Thesele ’Maseribane switched off the radio station accusing the radio station of broadcasting content his ministry said was inflammatory. ’Maseribane said the radio station was not functioning in line with the broadcasting guidelines.
He said as such it had to be shut down for 72 hours.

Ramainoane says what he went through last week had caused him to suffer psychologically and emotionally.
He said he needs to see a “health specialist” before appearing in court.
Ramainoane allegedly made some remarks against the police after they beat up Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy leader Tšeliso Mokhosi who had been arrested in connection with the killing of a police officer.

The police have denied that Mokhosi, who has since fled the country, was beaten in custody.
The police also complained that he made defamatory remarks about the security agencies after the assassination of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Ramainoane told thepost that when he arrived at the police headquarters after his arrest last Friday, he felt that he was not ready to continue with the interrogation.
He said the police told him to appear before them today. He will also be expected to appear before the court today.
“I think by that time I would be fine and fit to stand trial,” he said.
He is deeply concerned about the criminal defamation case and what it could mean for him and his two little children.

Asked if the police beat him during his arrest and short detention, Ramainoane said he was never beaten at all.
But he only experienced some pain when the police handcuffed him.

He says he was not subjected to any emotional abuse while he was in detention.
He said he was only detained in a stuffy holding cell with dirty blankets.
Ramainoane was at the High Court on Friday to hear the decision of the court following the closure of his radio station by the government when the police pounced on him.

Ramainoane had asked the court to order the government reopen his radio and treat his application as urgent.
The court ruled that the matter was not urgent. The case was before Justice ’Maseshope Hlajoane.

As he was walking out of court, four police officers who were in plain clothes pounced on him.
Although he tried to resist arrest, his fight was short-lived as they soon overpowered him.
He was then handcuffed and thrown into the police van.

A crowd that was at the court and staff members of MoAfrika FM radio tried to stop the police from arresting their boss but all was in vain.
The supporters, who had gone to court in great numbers, were left stranded as Ramainoane left the court premises in a van escorted by one sedan heading to the police headquarters.

Majara Molupe

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