Thabane coming home

Thabane coming home

Staff Reporter

MASERU – EXILED All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader Thomas Thabane says he is on his way back home.
Thabane told thepost yesterday that with Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli out of the army, the path has now been paved for his safe return.
He said he believes Kamoli no longer poses a threat to his life.

Yesterday afternoon the ABC national executive committee and the party’s MPs were at Thabane’s residence in Ficksburg, South Africa, where they discussed his safe return.
“As I am talking to you now, the ABC national executive committee members and our MPs are with me here to discuss the modalities of my return,” Thabane said.
“The issue of my return does not involve me and my family only and therefore these people will tell me when and how exactly I will return home,” he said.
“I cannot wait to go to my home, to my people and to work in Parliament. I am really suffering from nostalgia.”
“I am ready to work and grow the ABC at home,” he said.

ABC secretary general Samonyane Ntsekele however said also although the decision is that Thabane should come back as soon as possible “there is need to confirm a few things for his safe return”.

“Yes government has confirmed the leaving of the former commander but we have to crosscheck a few things so that he is safe when he comes back,”Ntsekele said.
“As the committee of the party we decided that if there is any slight indication that his safety has been compromised then we put his return on hold.”
Ntsekele said as soon as the party is satisfied that there is no risk Thababe will ask SADC Facilitator, South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, to organise his return.
“The matter will be put in his hands so SADC can facilitate his safe return,” he said.

Ntsekele added that Thabane’s return home concerns not only Basotho but also the international community.
“It’s an urgent issue. The leader and the party understand that. The party needs him back home because it cannot cope for too long without him,” he said.
Thabane fled the country in May last year after claiming his life was in danger.
Two other opposition leaders, the Basotho National Party (BNP) leader Thesele ’Maseribane and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL)’s Keketso Rantšo, also fled the country after claiming Kamoli was out to kill them.
Thabane has had a fractious relationship with Kamoli after he fired the former army commander in August 2014. Thabane then replaced him with the late Maaparankoe Mahao at the helm of the army.

Kamoli, who refused to accept his dismissal, then attacked the State House and police stations on August 30, 2014 in an operation Thabane claimed was an attempted coup. Thabane, who had fled the country hours before the raid, only returned home after SADC guaranteed his security.
But events took a familiar path after Thabane again fled the country in May last year after the army began arresting soldiers for an alleged mutiny.
Over 20 soldiers were arrested and detained at the Maseru Maximum Security Prison in connection with the same crime while many others fled the country to South Africa.
Rantšo told thepost yesterday that she had already packed her “belongings and am ready to come back to Lesotho”.

She however said she is worried that nobody is saying anything about the soldiers who have fled the country “whom I am sure want and deserve to reunite with their families”.
“How am I going to go back to my country leaving these soldiers here? Are they not supposed to go back home too?” Rantšo said.
She said the powers that be “should immediately facilitate the return of these soldiers”.
Efforts to contact ’Maseribane were fruitless.

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