Ramatšella in trouble again

Ramatšella in trouble again

MASERU – THE secretary general of the Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) party, Bokang Ramatšella, is expected to appear before the Maseru magistrate’s court today to answer
a charge of incitement. The state is accusing Ramatšella of breaking a section of the Penal Code in that before the June 3 election during the campaign he encouraged people to physically
assault white Americans who were in the country.

Ramatšella was called by the police on Tuesday where he was questioned before he could be charged. He is said to have made the xenophobic remarks during a broadcast on a local radio station.
An unapologetic Ramatšella told thepost that he is not guilty of any incitement or nxenophobia but was “right about the conduct of these white Americans in Lesotho”.

He has however denied that he said the  Americans should be beaten up. He insists he “merely said the people should not open their doors for them because
they cannot be trusted”. He said the white Americans he was talking about were “the ones who entered the Kingdom masquerading as preachers of the Gospel” only to be seen attending ABC rallies while clad in the party’s regalia.

“It is true that I warned my people against them and encouraged them to expel them if  they come knocking on their doors saying
they preach about the Bible,” Ramatšella said. “They are not the true priests of God but ABC politicians masquerading as priests. We will not listen to them and we will not allow them to enter our houses to preach to us,” he said.

He said the whole issue is politically motivated as the police did not call him for questioning immediately after the broadcast. He queried why the police waited until
Thomas Thabane was elected prime minister.m “My question is why are they calling me now? They should have accused me a long time ago,” he said. “I am accused or suspected of incitement
by saying Makhooa a matoala a Ma-America (American whites who are ABC members) should be beaten up,” he said.

He said he only expressed his surprise that “those Americans came in the country as priests but they were now wearing the
ABC political attire”. “After realising that they had political affiliations, I then told people on radio that they should not welcome them but expel
them immediately,” he said. This is the third time in three years in which Ramatšella is in trouble for his remarks over a radio station. Ramatšella is also in trouble for speaking ill of King Letsie III over Thaha-Khube FM in February. He accused the King of dabbling
in politics.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Leaba Thetsane hauled him before the magistrate’s court for tarnishing the name of the King, a crime under the Penal Code.
In 2014, Ramatšella was charged with sedition after he said the Lesotho government officials who had represented the country at a SADC summit were insane.

Later Thetsane directed that chargesagainst Ramatšella be withdrawn.

Nkheli Liphoto

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