Tempers flare at State House

Tempers flare at State House

MASERU – THERE was drama at the State House as tempers flared after All Basotho Convention (ABC) talks collapsed for the fifth time, thepost has heard.
The warring factions traded insults, with the party’s deputy secretary general, Nkaku Kabi, allegedly standing up and telling members of the rival faction that he was not afraid of them.
Culturally, telling a Mosotho man in Sesotho that you are not afraid of them is equal to inviting a physical fight.
It is even more provocative when the statement is directed to someone older.
Members of the opposing faction present at the volatile meeting were party spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa, who is nearly 20 years older than Kabi.

Also present at the meeting was the secretary general, Lebohang Hlaele, who is at least 10 years older than Kabi.
The deputy leader, Professor Nqosa Mahao, well over 10 years older than Kabi was also present.
The deputy spokesperson, ’Matebatso Doti, was also present at the meeting and, as a woman, no man under the Sesotho customs is expected to provoke her to a fight.
Masoetsa told thepost that in light of what happened at the State House on Sunday he does not see any chance of a continuation of the talks.

Masoetsa said ABC leader Thomas Thabane, who together with Kabi has been suspended from the party by the rival faction, does not have power over anyone else now in the ABC.
“No one listens to him anymore,” Masoetsa said.
Masoetsa said they attended the State House meeting for talks after the former secretary general told them that Thabane wanted to meet them and solve their differences for good.
He said they did not ask for the talks because they realised that they would always fail due to lack of commitment from the pro-Thabane faction.

“The meeting was scheduled to be at 3 p.m. but we went there because we were called by our leader,” he said.
Masoetsa said they were later stunned with the tone of the meeting.
He said people from Thabane’s faction told them that they had already met and resolved to call off the meeting.
Masoetsa said they were surprised and asked who had called the meeting.
He said they were further shocked when Thabane did not protect them against Kabi.
“The same person (Kabi) later called one of us and said we should withdraw our court cases so that talks could take place,” he said.

Masoetsa said they thought Thabane was going to unite the warring factions so that they could move on.
But they learnt from his tone at rallies held in Koro-Koro and Qeme that this was not going to happen.
Kabi confirmed that even though he could not talk much on the issue, the meeting was called by their leader.
He said his faction was represented by former chairman Motlohi Maliehe, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, ’Malelaka Lehohla, Tlali Mohapi and Thabane.
He said Thabane wanted to patch the differences.
He said the tensions were high at the beginning of the meeting. “But the tensions simmered down with time and we moved on with our business,” Kabi said.

Amongst other critical issues, it was suggested that Prof Mahao’s faction should postpone their case.
Kabi said their opponents were not happy that Thabane asked them to abandon their court cases.
He said the Professor Mahao faction refused to postpone their case that was scheduled for Monday.
He said they are now waiting for the courts to rule on the matter since talks have failed.
Kabi said both sides should be willing to accept the court’s decisions.

Nkheli Liphoto

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