Makgothi warns Metsing

Makgothi warns Metsing

‘Come back home or risk extradition’

MASERU – FOREIGN Affairs Minister Lesego Makgothi says Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader Mothetjoa Metsing should come back home of his own volition if he doesn’t want the hassle of being detained after his extradition.  Makgothi told thepost last night that the only way Metsing will be guaranteed of his freedom is when he avoids extradition.
His argument is that once extradited from South Africa, Metsing will have to be kept in custody in Lesotho because there is already precedence that he is a flight risk.
The minister said Metsing’s initial decision to flee to South Africa and Lesotho’s efforts to get him extradited might greatly hinder his bail application.
“He will have no option but to be locked up,” Makgothi said.

“This is not something that I am making up but what the procedure says has to happen when a person is extradited.”
“These are the facts of the issue.”
He said only if he agrees to come back home without being extradited will Metsing be guaranteed of the freedom to participate in the reform process.
Once home, Metsing will be summoned to court like all other suspects, Makgothi said.

He said although the coalition government is not convinced by Metsing’s reasons for being in exile, it has been trying to persuade him to come home back home for the past 13 months.
He said the government has been trying to bring back every one who has fled the country.
“We promised to give them security and all institutions with cases against them have been approached so that they do not stop these leaders from participating in the reforms,” he said.
The problem for the government now, he said, is that Metsing keeps adding new conditions for his return.
“But talking to someone who comes with new conditions every time is difficult,” Makgothi said.

He was referring to Metsing’s letter to SADC Facilitator, Justice Dikgang Moseneke, putting more conditions for his return and participation in the reforms (See Page 10 & 11 for details).
Metsing was responding to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this month.
Although Makgothi refused to give details of the letter thepost understands that it was on Metsing’s extradition and his persistent refusal to come home despite the government’s assurances that he will be safe to participate in the reforms.

Thabane is said to have told Ramaphosa that the extradition will naturally fall away if he comes home on his own.
The prime minister assured Ramaphosa and SADC, by extension, that Metsing’s security will be guaranteed.
He also said that the police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the National Security Services will not bother Metsing if he comes home.
Makgothi’s statement comes barely a week after the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO)’s spokeswoman ’Matlhokomelo Senoko said they have completed the corruption investigations against Metsing.

Senoko said they were just waiting for Metsing to come to Lesotho so that he is taken to courts of law.
She said in 2014, they wrote a letter to Metsing to explain monies that were being deposited into his accounts.
“Instead of explaining to us he launched a case in the Constitutional Court,” Senoko said, adding that the DCEO won that case.
“Then he took the case to the Court of Appeal saying we did not have a right to inspect his accounts.”

“Again we won the case as DCEO and we carried on with our investigations,” she said. “We are just waiting for him to come back home so that the case goes on because there is a case against him.”
Metsing fled to South Africa after alleging that he has information that he was going to be tortured by the police when arrested.
He has adamantly refused to return home to participate in reforms until the government guarantees his safety.
It is not clear if Metsing and the opposition will participate in this week’s National Leaders Forum.

Nkheli Liphoto

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