Big relief for Metsing, Mochoboroane

Big relief for Metsing, Mochoboroane

MASERU-CHIEF Justice Sakoane Sakoane last night granted an application by Mothetjoa Metsing and Selibe Mochoboroane to stay their treason trial pending their appeal in the Court of Appeal.

The stay gives the two politicians breathing space after Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete acquired a warrant of arrest against them on Monday.
Several political parties which included Metsing’s own Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) condemned the issuance of the warrant of arrest.

The stay of execution also means that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will not prosecute their treason case pending the outcome of the Court of Appeal.
Prosecution counsel Advocate Shaun Abrahams told thepost that the crown will not separate trials nor drop charges against their co-accused, former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, and others.

“The case will not proceed anytime soon,” Advocate Abrahams said.
The granting of their application comes at a time when the police were in a manhunt for Metsing, according to the Alliance of Democrats (AD), a party with which Metsing vote together in parliament.
The AD leader Monyane Moleleki told a press conference yesterday that the police even went to a hotel conference room where political leaders were meeting the SADC envoy waving the warrant of arrest in search of Metsing.

Moleleki said he and other leaders had to ask the SADC diplomat, Justice Dikgang Moseneke, to intervene because the police were looking for Metsing so that they could arrest him right there in front of him.
Metsing and Mochoboroane are holding on to a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and political parties, under Justice Moseneke’s oversight, that says they should not be prosecuted until after the reforms.

The Constitutional Court has since said the MOU is unconstitutional, meaning that they should stand their treason trial.
It is this decision that they have now appealed against in the Court of Appeal.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Moleleki said people who wanted to arrest Metsing and Mochoboroane should clarify why that is happening yet there is an agreement stopping such actions.
Moleleki said the police were eagerly looking for Metsing that while the leaders were still discussing with Justice Moseneke “police officers arrived looking for Metsing so that they could arrest him”.

“We appealed with Moseneke to intervene in the matter as he was the one who called Metsing and others back home for the reforms process,” Moleleki said.
Moleleki said Justice Moseneke promised to intervene and help them solve the issue “as it is getting out of hand”.
“Moseneke met the Prime Minister last night on the same issue and we were expecting him to address us as he promised,” he said.

The AD condemned the warrant of arrest for Metsing and Mochoboroane.
Moleleki argued that the MOU is binding on the government, meaning that Metsing and Mochoboroane should not be arrested and prosecuted until after the national reforms.
“After the reforms the leaders will still be taken to courts therefore the government must wait for that moment to come,” Moleleki said.

Moleleki said the ex-premier Thomas Thabane had forgiven Metsing and Mochoboroane over the events of August 2014.
“Thabane has forgiven both leaders but surprisingly people who were not prime ministers in 2014 are the ones refusing to forgive them,” Moleleki said.

Speaking at the same conference, the AD secretary general Dr Mahali Phamotse said they are far from being happy with the pace and direction of the reforms process.
Dr Phamotse said to date “there has been no positive progress”.
She said the AD was formed with a deep understanding that in order for Lesotho to overcome its multiple socio-economic challenges something fundamental must change.

Dr Phamotse said South Africa despite the heinous crimes committed in the name of apartheid chose the route of truth and national reconciliation.
“It has remained one of the largest and most diverse economies on the continent,” she said.
She recalled the Rwandan genocide of 1994, saying the country overcame the desire for revenge and retribution and chose the route of truth and reconciliation.

“Today Rwanda is a growing economy on the African continent and it is able to address on a serious level the needs of its people,” she said.
She also said after the fall of the Pinochet regime in Chile the country chose the route of truth and reconciliation while many of its neighbours who had also been under repressive military dictatorships chose the course of prosecution.

“Today Chile enjoys the fastest growing economy and the highest standard of living in South America while many of its neighbours languish behind,” she said.
She said the three countries are example of what the AD wants for Lesotho.

Nkheli Liphoto

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