Metsing ‘fears for his life’

Metsing ‘fears for his life’

MASERU – FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing says he is being stalked and fears his life is under threat, thepost can reveal.
Sources within the government and Metsing’s own Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party say Metsing wrote to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane asking for protection claiming he was being tailed wherever he went. “He wants the Prime Minister to protect him, with the understanding that he is in control of the army and he can order that he be afforded bodyguards from the army,” the source said.

Another source said the letter was sent to the Prime Minister earlier this month.
“We were expecting Thabane to have responded to the letter, either promising to protect him or rejecting the request,” the source said.
Metsing’s deputy in the LCD, Tšeliso Mokhosi, yesterday confirmed his leader had written the letter to Thabane asking for security.
Mokhosi however said he did not see the contents of the letter.

“It is indeed true the former Deputy Prime Minister Mothejoa Metsing has written a letter to the Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane”, Mokhosi said. He said Metsing “has a right to receive full security as he is a former deputy prime minister”.
Mokhosi added that there is a law that provides that once a deputy prime minister leaves office he should be afforded security by the state.
“The law clearly states that the former deputy prime minister should be afforded full security,” Mokhosi said.

Thabane’s spokesperson, Thabo Thakalekoala, however said he had not heard or seen such a letter adding he would have known about it “if such a thing existed”. Metsing also served as deputy Prime Minister in a coalition government led by Thabane between 2012 and 2015.
He however fell out spectacularly with Thabane after accusing him of making arbitrary decisions without consulting him. Relations between the two politicians have remained frosty since then.

The issue of Metsing’s security comes at a time when the ruling coalition and the opposition are arguing over whether he qualifies for the benefits of a former deputy prime minister as stipulated in the law.

The ruling parties say he does not qualify because irrespective of the fact that he was the deputy prime minister in two successive governments he did not serve 36 months in each of them. The law says for the deputy prime minister to qualify for the benefits, that include state sponsored security, he should have served for at least 36 months.

Metsing was in that position for only 33 months from 2012 to 2015 when he deputised Thabane. When Thabane fell and was replaced by Mosisili in 2015 until 2017, he only served 25 months. So, the ruling parties argue Metsing did not serve the full 36 months in each government and so he does not qualify for the benefits. However, his LCD and other opposition partners argue that the time he spent as deputy prime minister surpasses the 36 months required by the law and therefore qualifies for the benefits.

They say the law does not specify that the 36 months must be spent during the life of a single parliament.
Metsing could not be reached for comment last night.

Staff Reporter

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