Minister wants mob justice

Minister wants mob justice

SETIBING – THE Minister of Social Development, Motlohi Maliehe, has urged the Setibing community to take the law into their own hands to protect the elderly people who are being attacked by criminals.

Addressing a public gathering in Setibing in Machache last Thursday, Maliehe suggested that the local men should discipline those who harm old people.
“Le ikhalemelle bona, mapolesa a tla tla e se e le sebonoang,” Maliehe said.
The statement has an undertone of violently beating up a person until he dies or is about to die. It implies that when the police come they should find people gathered and shocked by the incident.

Maliehe also ordered the security agents, police and the army to confiscate medicines and alcohol sold to the pensioners.
His statement comes amid several reports of the elderly being attacked across the country.

Maliehe said pensioners are being swindled by unscrupulous traders who are selling them products at exorbitant prices.
The minister said pensioners are being forced to pay steep instalments that leave them broke. Maliehe said the pensioners are being lured into buying fake and unlabelled medication.
“It is even worse when they sell beer to the pensioners before they can eat because alcohol can react quickly in their blood system,” he said.
‘‘I do not want to see any kind of medication even if it is labelled,’’ he said.

Maliehe made a stern warning that he does not want to see any alcohol being sold at the pay points.
He insisted that the security agents should dispose of medicinal products and alcohol at the pay points.
He called upon the chiefs and the councillors to protect the elderly against being cheated.

Maliehe said the elderly are supposed to be respected because they are our “gods”.
He said abuse against the elderly has now become cancerous.
Lloyd Tšoene from Likolobeng Community Council said the trend of selling contraband to the elderly has triggered a serious concern.
“The elderly leave the pay points with little cash,” Tšoene said.

He said the elderly buy the goodies sold around their pay points uninformed.
Maliehe’s call for violence against suspected criminals against the elderly shows how the government is supporting brutality, hiding behind public protection.

The first to make such calls was Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in various public forums, on national television and in parliament when he said the police should assault crime suspects.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Temeki Tšolo, also made similar calls in different public gatherings, saying the police should shoot to kill.
The opposition has for the past two years complained that the rising police brutality wells from the government’s support of such behaviour.
So far over 50 people have been killed in police custody after Thabane uttered those words.

Refiloe Mpobole

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