Talks collapse again

Talks collapse again

MASERU – TALKS to resolve the impasse between the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s warring factions collapsed again this week.
The factions have now asked party leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, to mediate.
Lebohang Hlaele, secretary general for the incoming National Executive Committee, told thepost yesterday the deal breaker was on how to deal with the court case challenging the results of the February election.

Hlaele said the new committee led by Professor Nqosa Mahao requested the old committee to withdraw the case to show that it was committed to a deal outside the courts.
He said the old committee however flatly refused to withdraw the case.
Hlaele said the new committee felt that the talks would not achieve much as long as there was a pending court case.
“Our suggestion fell on deaf ears,” Hlaele said.
Hlaele said now that it’s clear that they have reached a deadlock they have put the matter back into Thabane’s hands.
He said they expect to meet Thabane next week.

Hlaele, who is Thabane’s son-in-law, said in the meantime they will continue to hold rallies in constituencies.
“This coming weekend Pela-Tšoeu constituency has invited the newly elected committee,” Hlaele said.
In February, some officials who are aligned to the old committee asked the High Court to nullify the election results, on grounds that they were rigged.
The matter remains in the courts, bogged down by repeated postponements.
In March, the High Court gave the factions two weeks to negotiate a settlement but the talks failed after the old committee allegedly failed to attend a crucial mediation meeting.

A few weeks later, Thabane instructed Prof Mahao and Samonyane Ntsekele, secretary general of the old committee, to revive the talks.
Thabane has not made his dislike of Prof Mahao a secret, describing him as an overly ambitious Johnny-come-lately out to divide the party.
Those said to be close to Thabane like Defence Minister Tefo Mapesela have also blamed Prof Mahao for the crisis in the party, saying the new committee will only be acceptable to the old committee if it dumps Prof Mahao.
The newly elected committee has however dismissed the demand arguing Mahao was duly elected at the party’s conference in February.

Nkheli Liphoto


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