Metsing reads riot act

Metsing reads riot act

Staff Reporter

MASERU

 

DEPUTY Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing on Tuesday said individuals who claim they are being threatened with death but do not report the matter to the police will be arrested.

Speaking at a press conference, Metsing said the government is tired of people who are tainting its image and sowing seeds of confusion to the general public.

He said the government is concerned that there are people who are claiming they want to be killed but never report the threats to the police.

“We are appalled by this. The government is watching and the perpetrators of these acts will be found,” Metsing said.

“Law enforcement agencies are ready for that,” he said.

“Those who perpetrate these things will be arrested.”

Metsing said the problem with people who claim to have received death threats is that their claims “are merely intended to further their political interests”.

“Why can’t they report to the police?” he said.

He said most of them are “misusing social media to their political ends”.

“We appeal to all Basotho to handle social media with care. This is a double-edged sword,” he said.

Meanwhile, addressing another press conference yesterday Communications Minister Khotso Letsatsi said the government is aware that there is a list of people who have been marked for death that has been posted on Facebook.

On the Facebook wall of someone who calls himself Julius Makhetha, there is a list of 12 people who have been advised to run away immediately.

The people in the list include the Basotho National Party (BNP) spokesman, Machesetsa Mofomobe, and the party’s deputy leader Joang Molapo.

Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) deputy leader Motloheloa Phooko also appears on the Facebook list.

Khoabane Theko, presumably the Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, is listed among those who will be killed although instead of being cited as a chief he is referred to as a member of the All Basotho Convention.

The Director of the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), Tsoeu Petlane, and the organisation’s Democracy and Human Rights officer Tsikoane Peshoane are also on the list.

A senior lecturer at the National University of Lesotho (NUL), Professor Mafa Sejanamane, also appears on the hit list.

Journalists and radio presenters Puseletso Ramokhethi from People’s Choice FM together with fellow presenters at the same station, Motlatsi Sootho and Bhuda Moseme, are on the list.

Newspaper journalist Keiso Mohloboli and former police boss Khothatso Tšooana are also on the list.

“The government is aware that Facebook is being misused to destabilise the country and threaten certain people,” Letsatsi said.

The minister said he had seen the list of those who are said to be on hit-list this week.

Letsatsi said the government is working on a law that will regulate the use of social media including Facebook.

He said the law is in the process of being drafted and those who will break it will be dealt with by law.

He said he will not disclose other means that will be used to deal with people who misuse social media “because the government is still discussing them”.

Mofomobe told thepost yesterday that he had been called to the police station for questioning after Metsing said those who do not report to the police would be arrested.

He said he was called for questioning after he spoke to a local radio station about a certain hitman who had been hired to kill him.

Mofomobe claims the hitman had been hired by a government minister whom he refused to disclose his name.

The said the would-be hitman had since fled to South Africa.

“I told the police that I would not report the threats to them because it is a minister who wants to kill me and that it is a fact in Lesotho that once you are in power you do not get arrested even if you commit crimes,” Mofomobe said.

“Therefore there is no way I can report my assailant to the very same assailant that the assailant wants to assail me.”

Mofomobe said he had taperecorded his conversation with the hitman.

“I am not afraid of being arrested by them. Let them go ahead, I am ready,” he said.

Police spokesman Superintendent Clifford Molefe confirmed that Mofomobe was called to the police for questioning because “we believed that crime was happening or had happened”.

“We had to call him so that he could help us with investigations in case we find that crime had occured,” Molefe said.

“We have a right to call anybody for questioning if we believe that crime has happened against them or they committed it or they knew about crime happening against another person,” he said.

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