Mahao faction to boycott conference

Mahao faction to boycott conference

MASERU -THE All Basotho Convention (ABC) faction led by Professor Nqosa Mahao says it will not attend a special conference that has been called by the outgoing committee scheduled for next Friday.
A spokesman for the Mahao group, Montoeli Masoetsa, told thepost last night that at least 35 out of the 40 constituencies had indicated they would not attend the conference.
The outgoing ABC secretary general, Samonyane Ntsekele, two weeks ago announced that the party was going to hold a special conference.
Constituency committees were ordered to submit their party delegates by Friday this week.
But in an apparent snub to the Ntsekele-led committee, the constituencies said they will boycott the conference.
The 35 constituencies have written to the newly elected secretary general, Lebohang Hlaele, informing him they will not be part of the Ntsekele-led proceedings.
ABC leader Thomas Thabane announced at his rallies that the conference is intended to solve an impasse wreaking havoc in his party.
Masoetsa said the petitions from the constituencies all carry the same message.

Partly read, the petition says the constituencies are aware that there are some party members especially those who were in the old executive committee who have chosen not to accept the choice of the members made in February.
It further says: “We accept the committee elected (lawfully) by the ABC members on the 1-2 February”.
The petition says Ntsekele should stop calling himself the secretary general of the ABC and issuing letters.
The constituencies say ABC members should not approve or align themselves with the circular calling for the proposed special conference.
The constituencies have also called on Hlaele to write a counter letter to stop the conference that is intended to cause “chaos and bloodshed”.

Hlaele told thepost that he is yet to consult their lawyers on the same issue.
He said their understanding is that Ntsekele called the special conference because he was granted powers by the court order issued by Justice ’Maseforo Mahase.
He said this is the very same case that was decided upon in the chambers by Justice Mahase where they were not called to defend.
Hlaele said according to the court order the old committee was to be in office for a full year while reviewing the ABC constitution and preparing for the conference.
“They were given powers to govern the party,” he added.
He said the old committee has no powers to call the special conference following the Court of Appeal ruling that the leadership battle should be started afresh in the High Court before a different judge.

He said they are going to slap the conference with a court order.
Masoetsa said the order obtained from the High Court was reversed by the Court of Appeal, therefore the old committee should be out.
He said the old committee also gave themselves the right to prepare for the conference and it is their expectation that the conference is cancelled.
Lithabaneng constituency secretary Rethabile Rathebane said they wrote the letters with the expectation that the special conference does not go ahead.
He said they did it on the basis of members who own the party.

He said they wrote to Hlaele instead of Ntsekele because the February elections decided who the party members want in their committee.
Rathebane said they want Hlaele in the office as soon as possible, adding he must secure the party stamp and letterhead before the end of this week.
“If we are called by Hlaele we will go but if it is still the old secretary general we will not attend, we want it stopped,” he added.
Deputy spokesman for the outgoing committee, Major General Sam Makoro, said there is no indication that any constituencies will boycott the conference.
He said the fact that “no constituency has written to the head office boycotting the conference we cannot say there are some who are boycotting it”.
He said fears that the ABC is at the brink of a split “is mere speculation”.

Nkheli Liphoto

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