Metsing still holed up in SA

Metsing still holed up in SA

MASERU – IT is still not clear when the self-exiled leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Mothetjoa Metsing will come back to Lesotho.
Not even the opposition leaders who met Metsing in South Africa last night could say when he is likely to return to participate in the ongoing reforms.
The leader of the opposition in parliament Mathibeli Mokhothu who was joined in his entourage to the meeting by Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane and Teboho Sekata said they wanted to brief Metsing about the National Leaders Forum that happened last Thursday and Friday.
“It should be noted that no date has been set for Metsing to return home,” Rakuoane said. Mokhothu said Metsing and the opposition are still concerned about what they called “human rights violations and injustices”.

He said they are willing to take part in the reforms but the government keeps disappointing them.
He said they were surprised that while they were busy preparing for Metsing’s return there were newspaper reports saying investigations of his cases have been finalised.
This, Mokhothu argued, is not a good move to the reforms process.

He said they want SADC to intensify talks with the government so that the playing field is levelled.
Mokhothu argued that Metsing is not being treated like a former Deputy Prime Minister.
Mokhothu said he too is also not being treated as the leader of the opposition in parliament because instead of being given two cars, he is given just one.
He maintained that disrespect of rule of law is rife in Lesotho citing a case of the First Lady ’Maesaiah Thabane who refused to testify in court when she was subpoenaed in in the habeas corpus of ’Makarabo Mojakhomo.

“These are just examples of cases showing that there is travesty of law and justice in Lesotho,” Mokhothu said.
Mokhothu said there are incidents of cases where some police officers suspected in crimes have been transferred to some police stations instead of facing the long arm of the law.
He said this is uncalled for because there are some soldiers who have been detained and their cases are not pushed to finality.
He also mentioned the opposition’s longstanding argument that former Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Lt General Tlali Kamoli be released from prison because he is in the 11th month now behind the bars.

“We are not saying Metsing should not be prosecuted but we are saying his prosecution should not be politically motivated,” Mokhothu said.
He said they want to know from the SADC Facilitator to Lesotho’s political unrest what they are doing to meet Metsing half-way when he comes back.
He said they decided to take part in the National Leaders Forum because they have seen a good intention of the government to see the reforms progressing.
“But we have seen that this is just a witch-hunt that boils down to spoil the good spirit,” Mathibeli said.
He said they want the peace-pact between the government and the opposition.

He said the National Leaders Forum gave birth to the National Dialogue Committee because they have been cooperating with the government.
Asked about their views following the South African Minister of International Relations Lindiwe Sisulu about Metsing’s over-stay in his hideout, Mokhothu said they are aware of the minister’s reaction.

“That is just talk,” Mokhothu said.
“We are still in negotiations.”
Sisulu announced this week on television that they would facilitate security and other requirements to ensure that Metsing goes back to take part in the reforms process.
She said there would be travel bans for those who do not want to take part in the reforms.

“We would no longer be keeping in our country people who otherwise are required to facilitate in peace building in Lesotho,” Sisulu was quoted as saying over the television.

Sisulu said steps would be taken to ensure that Metsing returns to Lesotho.
She said they would not take him (Metsing) to the border but they expect him to go to the border.
When contacted for comment last night, Metsing said he was in a meeting and he would call back but his phones were no longer available.

Majara Molupe

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