Rakuoane wants Mahase impeached

Rakuoane wants Mahase impeached

MASERU – THE leader of the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD) party, Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, wants Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase impeached.
Rakuoane, who was speaking at a press conference called by opposition parties on Tuesday, claimed that Justice Mahase has a patched history.
He said this was not the first time she has “misled” herself in the workplace.
Other opposition parties, the LPC, LCD, MFP, PFD, DC, NIP and DPL were part of the press conference.

Adv Rakuoane alleged that Justice Mahase in the past denied some NIP members a chance to table their grievances until the party lost some constituencies.
Addressing the media briefing held at the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) premises, Adv Rakuoane said he knew how “badly” Justice Mahase treated the late Anthony Manyeli in 2006 and alleged that Justice Mahase delivered a judgment that sabotaged the congress party.
Now that many people are unhappy with her conduct, it may be ripe to impeach her, said Adv Rakuoane.

He claimed that the government was trying to capture the judiciary to serve the interests of a ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) faction linked to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.
Democratic Congress (DC) party leader, Mathibeli Mokhothu, echoed Adv Rakuoane’s assertions, and claimed that the country’s democratic institutions are now under threat.
“The government is against the independence of the judiciary,” he said.
Mokhothu accused the government of pushing out President of the Court of Appeal and Chief

Justice Nthomeng Majara through an unlawful suspension and an attempt to strike an out of court settlement with her.
According to Mokhothu, the government declared war against the courts to influence some high profile cases that include that of the ABC new committee and another on wool and mohair farmers.

He cited the suspension of the Court of Appeal session in April with the government claiming there was no money for the court’s operations when it was expected to hear a case involving the ABC as an example of the manipulation of the judiciary.
Parliament was also adjourned just as a motion to impeach Thabane was about to be tabled. Mokhothu said the closure of Parliament blocked opposition parties from carrying out their oversight role.

He said Parliament should be reconvened so that opposition parties can discuss and take the government to task over burning political issues.
He said some of the issues they want discussed include the matter of how Chinese businesspeople are milking the country of its resources and undermining workers’ rights.
Mokhothu accused the ABC-led government of capturing the country’s security institutions.

He also accused the government of violating the rule of law and human rights, and alleged that the police had killed at least 44 people since it came into power two years ago.
He said the Lesotho Mounted Police must enforce the law and protect citizens from torture or death at the hands of security forces.
“Those police should account for their acts,” he said.

Mokhothu said opposition parties have taken up the issue of human rights violations with both the government and the SADC team facilitating Lesotho’s reform agenda.
He repeated previous allegations of politicisation of recruitment of security personnel, warning this could cause “bloodshed” if not corrected through the SADC-facilitated reform process.
Mokhothu warned that security agents who were hired on the basis of political affiliation could one day refuse to take orders when the government changes, pointing to the decision by the police last week to withdraw permission for some ruling party members to hold their rally at Lithoteng.

However, government spokesman Nthakeng Selinyane said Parliament will re-open next Friday.
Selinyane said there was nothing amiss in the adjournment of Parliament, saying this happens the world over “all the time”.
He dismissed allegations of politicisation of security agencies such as the police and the army.
Selinyane said officers suspected of police brutality were dismissed from work while other issues raised by the opposition were being addressed as ordered by the Prime Minister.

Nkheli Liphoto


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