Woman grilled over Metsing’s escape

Woman grilled over Metsing’s escape

MASERU – A Quthing woman says she is living in fear after she was interrogated by intelligence agents who accused her of assisting former deputy premier Mothetjoa Metsing flee the country. The woman, who requested anonymity for fear of her life, told thepost that the National Security Service (NSS) agents accused her of sheltering Metsing on the night he fled to South Africa last month.
Metsing, a former deputy prime minister who is also the leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), skipped the country earlier this month claiming his life was in danger.

The LCD leader had earlier told Prime Minister Thomas Thabane in a letter that he feared for his life and therefore requested security from the government. Metsing’s request for security was however rebuffed with the government saying he deserved no special treatment.
The woman, who is a member of the LCD’s Tele constituency committee, says the NSS agents for the Quthing district threatened to harm her if she did not tell them about Metsing’s movements before he crossed at the Tele Bridge border post.
She claims she was called by the agents several times.

“At one stage they called me to their offices in the district,” she says.
“But they did not beat me at all.”
The woman says the agents however threatened to beat her if she did not disclose where Metsing slept on the night he fled the country.
She says it appeared as if the agents had relied on a Facebook post that claimed Metsing had slept at her house.
She says the Facebook post was a complete lie.

She says the NSS agents insisted during the interrogation that she stood a better chance of knowing how Metsing escaped because “I am an influential LCD youth leader in the Tele constituency”. “I asked them why they asked me about something posted on Facebook, and worst of all things that were not posted by me,” she says. She says she had nothing to do with the Facebook post.

The woman says the NSS agents however rejected her explanation insisting Metsing had slept at her house.
She claims she was also interrogated as to why she continues to support congress parties. She says the agents asked her to defect to other parties.
The woman says she believes she was targeted by the NSS because she is one of the stalwarts of the LCD in the constituency.
She says the agents threatened to visit her again for further questioning.

The LCD’s spokesman, Teboho Sekata, told thepost on Tuesday that the party was aware of the woman’s claims.
Sekata says the woman is a member of the Tele constituency committee.
The leader of the Popular Front for Democracy (PFD), Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane, who served as home affairs minister in the last coalition government, said NSS agents should not go around harassing innocent people.

Rakuoane said the NSS does not have a mandate to investigate cases.
He says their task is to sniff out national security threats and report such matters to the government.
The NSS director general Pheello Ralenkoane however rubbished the allegations as baseless.

Ralenkoane says this is not how the security intelligence agency operates.
He says the NSS will investigate to find out who “caused trouble for this woman”.

Majara Molupe

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