Man dies as deadly violence rocks AD
MASERU – ONE person was shot dead while two others were seriously injured during an Alliance of Democrats (AD) meeting to select a parliamentary candidate for Koro-Koro constituency last weekend.
The AD members fought over who should stand as the constituency’s MP in the June 3 election. Others were rallying behind Refiloe Litjobo while others were backing Khotso Makana.
Litjobo was the deputy secretary general for the Democratic Congress (DC) but was, together with former party deputy Monyane Moleleki, suspended from the party for six years for plotting to topple party leader Pakalitha Mosisili.
Moleleki then led a number of the DC heavyweights away to form the AD.
While Litjobo had not officially joined the AD as he would lose his seat in parliament, it was an open secret that he was a member of the AD and continued to participate in the party’s activities until parliament was dissolved last month.
However, little is known about Makana who is also vying to stand in the constituency.
Emotions were running high in the constituency on Sunday as each faction fought to have its candidate elected to stand on the party’s ticket.
Litjobo told thepost this week that there was a heated argument “about things that I will not talk about” at the voting venue until members of his group decided to leave.
As they were heading towards their bus, they were called back but some people began to angrily destroy the ballots and turning the tables upside down.
Litjobo said this happened in the presence of the AD National Executive Committee delegation which had been sent to oversee the election process.
He said people began throwing stones at each other and it was during that commotion that he suddenly heard a gunshot.
He said some of the people ran to him shouting that someone had been shot.
Litjobo said he ran to the man who was lying on the ground and realised that it was one of the people who were going to vote for him.
thepost has withheld the name of the victim.
Litjobo said he fired twice in the air to disperse the people who were involved in the bloody scuffle so that they could be able to attend to the person who had been shot.
He said blood was oozing from the man’s body and he was rushed to hospital where he was later declared dead.
Some people who were involved in the fight were also treated at the hospital as out-patients.
He said the police came to the scene and demanded information about what had happened.
He said the police offered him security out of that place and accompanied him to his home.
“I won’t say much about the incident because it is already in the hands of police,” said Litjobo.
“I am still shocked and I am reeling from the shock. People in the constituency are also shocked,” he added.
“What has infuriated me is that the deceased and his family were going to support me,” he said.
He said he has since realised that there are some AD people in his constituency who are trying to cause chaos within the party.
Litjobo said since campaigning kicked off, there has never been peace in his constituency.
“There has been a group of people in the constituency who said I have to be challenged,” he told thepost.
“I need peace and I do not like to do things that can cause disrepute within the party. This is all about the integrity of the party.”
Meanwhile, Makana told this paper that he could not comment on the issue as it is already before the police.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Clifford Molefe confirmed the incident and said investigations are still continuing.
A re-run of the election will be held in the constituency this Sunday.
Asked if he is still going to contest the elections after the incident, Litjobo said “Koro-Koro people want me to stand”.
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