LTV staff grilled

LTV staff grilled

MASERU-THE Lesotho Television is in hot water after broadcasting live footage of a male MP fondling a female colleague last Thursday.
The embarrassing footage has been widely shared on social media. Yet instead of launching an investigation against Thabang Kholumo, the Qalo MP accused of the alleged misdeed, the MPs are lashing out at the LTV crew for beaming the incident.

The footage shows Kholumo, who is also the deputy leader of the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), stretching out to touch a female MP’s buttocks.
The victim of Kholumo’s transgression is Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) MP Lineo ’Majoele Tlali. Several sources in parliament and at the Ministry of Communications have confirmed that LTV officials were first quizzed by the parliament’s sergeant-at-arms and a police officer.

The journalists, the sources say, were asked why they posted the video on social media, thus embarrassing the MPs and parliament.
“The LTV cameramen answered that they did not do that but it could be that someone who watched the live casting of the parliamentary session recorded it from their home and posted it on social media,” the source said.
What is remarkable is that the concern was not on the MP groping his female colleague inside parliament during a session.

During a session this week some MPs lashed out at the LTV for showing the footage.
Matlakeng MP ’Malenkoane Letsoepa accused the LTV cameraman of “focusing on MPs” touching each other’s buttocks in parliament.

She said she only realised the seriousness of the situation last week when Tlali stood up to speak and the LTV cameraman decided to focus on her.
Trying to defend Kholumo, Letsoepa said the man was just trying to help straighten Tlali’s dress that had folded and the cameraman decided to focus on that.

She said the cameraman is harassing female MPs.
Letsoepa said it was not wrong for Kholumo to help Tlali therefore they feel harassed by the cameraman.
“Who would help us when our clothes are folded,” Letsoepa rhetorically asked.

Deputy Speaker Lebohang Ramohlanka stopped MPs from discussing the issue in parliament on account that Kholumo had apologised.
“Honourable Members, let’s not discuss this issue any further because the Honourable member has apologised in this very House,” Ramohlanka said.
The Mabote MP, Fako Moshoeshoe, said what happened “has shaken the two families affected”.

“This issue must be taken seriously and actions must be taken,” Moshoeshoe said.
Asked why he did not defend the LTV, Communications Minister Thesele ’Maseribane said he was not aware that the sergeant-at-arms and police commander at parliament had reprimanded the officials.
“I am not aware of that,” ’Maseribane said, adding: “I should have known about it.”

’Maseribane however said he will soon explain to the MPs how live the broadcast works.
“Actually, the MPs must understand that there was nothing our cameramen could do about that,” he said.
“When we broadcast live, sometimes MPs are caught dozing and they never complain. Why is there a complaint now?”

He said the cameraman focuses on a speaking MP, standing on the floor, but because the focus is wide other MPs close to him will appear in the picture.
“This could not be avoided even if the cameraman wanted,” he said.
thepost has been told that some MPs are demanding that the LTV apologise for that footage.

The Communications Principal Secretary, Advocate Bereng Makotoko, said he too was unaware that his reporters were called for a grilling in parliament.
“It is weird that I am the PS here and I am not notified when my people are called,” Makotoko said.

Makotoko denied allegations that he was preparing an apology speech last night when thepost called him.
“To my knowledge, the issue is still being discussed and we have not reached a conclusion on how we are going to handle it,” he said.
“Saying we are going to apologise is putting the cart in front of horses.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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