Moafrika FM presenter charged

Moafrika FM presenter charged

MASERU – A Moafrika FM radio presenter and trade unionist, Tsepang Makakole, appeared in the Leribe magistrates’ court this week to answer charges of incitement to violence.
Makakole is also an executive member of the National Clothing, Textile and Allied Workers Union (NACTWU) that spearheaded violent nation-wide protests by textile workers last week.
He was arrested last Thursday following the rowdy protests that left a trail of destruction in Maputsoe.
Makakole, popularly known as Nyakanyaka, was brought to the Leribe magistrate’s court in Hlotse in a police pick-up truck.
His legs were shackled.

But that did not seem to dampen his spirits. As soon as he alighted from the police van, he was met with deafening cheers from hordes of factory workers who had thronged the court premises on Monday. Raising his fist in the air, a defiant Makakole bellowed the struggle rallying cry: Amandla!
Awethu!, shouted the crowd.

After the charge of incitement to violence was read to him, Makakole was not asked to plead.
He was remanded out of custody on condition that he attends remands.
His case will be heard in March next year. Nyakanyaka told thepost on Tuesday that when he was arrested he was standing in front of the picketing workers who were singing struggle songs.
He said he was reporting the event live to Moafrika FM.

He said a police officer came to him and tried to take away a cell phone he was using to report and when he refused the officer grabbed him and shoved him to other policemen.
These ones took him to their station where he was never told what crime he had committed.
“He came to me straight and told me to go with him while he was trying to snatch my phone from my hands,” he said.

“I refused to hand over my phone and he violently shoved me towards where other police officers were standing,” he said.
“I only heard my charge when it was read to me in the magistrate’s court,” he said.
The defiant Nyakanyaka said: “There is no war without casualties. We will fight for our rights until we all die but in this specific factory, the picketing workers did not incite any violent actions.”
“I say we will die for our rights in this country,” Makakole said.

Makakole said picketing was the only legitimate way for factory workers to express their grievances.
He said this would disrupt production but eventually this would push employers to attend to their grievances.
Makakole said as NACTWU they are not satisfied with the seven percent increase that was suggested by employers.

Staff Reporter

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