Mahao reads riots act

Mahao reads riots act

MASERU – THE deputy leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Professor Nqosa Mahao, yesterday told his rivals to accept the court judgment that confirmed his election into office or face contempt charges.
Mahao was speaking at a press conference in Maseru yesterday, a day after the High Court ruled in favour of his faction.
Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi ruled that the decision by party leader Thomas Thabane to expel Mahao and four others from the party was “null and void and has no legal force and effect”.
The judge said Thabane did not have any powers to expel any member of the ABC.

The ruling also nullified the appointment of Moeketsi Majoro, Kemiso Mosenene, Rabale Sentle and Joel Mohale into the party’s NEC.
The four were “permanently interdicted from holding themselves as members of the current ABC NEC and discharging any duties of the NEC”.
The order finally puts to bed 11 months of a bitter wrangle for the control of the party. It also strengthened Mahao’s grip on the party while significantly weakening Thabane’s hand in the fight for political supremacy.

The judgment also permanently interdicted Thabane from interfering with the affairs of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) “without the involvement of the full contingent of the national executive committee”.

Mahao told a press conference in Maseru yesterday that the newly elected NEC will be on good terms with their rivals only if they allow the new committee to take charge of party affairs.
He said the ruling confirmed that their expulsion was unlawful and that the decision to fill in their positions after their expulsion by the other faction was unlawful.
“They should stop pretending they are NEC members,” he said.

Mahao said with the court case now resolved, he was confident that unity could finally be restored within the party.
Mahao was also magnanimous in victory telling the press conference that Thabane was duly elected party leader at the Lehakoe conference and was still party leader “just that in September he was suspended by the Special Conference”

“He is still the leader but he cannot (perform any) duties until finalisation of his suspension,” he said.
Mahao said while Thabane remains suspended, he was now in full control of the party as the interim leader until his suspension is lifted.
The party’s newly elected secretary general, Lebohang Hlaele, said the party was now focused on reconciliation and unity of the party.

He said the party had however decided to suspend Nkaku Kabi pending a disciplinary hearing.
The ABC’s deputy chairperson, Chalane Phori, told thepost last night that now that the court had pronounced itself on the matter, they welcomed Mahao and his colleagues back into the party.
He however insisted that Mahao and his colleagues must start all over again from the branches before they assume leadership positions within the party.

Nkheli Liphoto

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