Mosisili attacks ANC over Leabua

Mosisili attacks ANC over Leabua

MASERU – DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) leader, Pakalitha Mosisili, has strongly rebuked the ANC for seeking to honour the late Chief Leabua Jonathan.
Mosisili argues that Jonathan was a ruthless dictator who does not deserve to be honoured posthumously.
In a strongly worded three-page letter seen by thepost, Mosisili said he was shocked to learn of plans by the Free State province to “build a statue in honour of Lesotho’s erstwhile Prime Minister, Chief Leabua”.

A statue in his honour will be built next to that of the late ANC president Oliver Tambo, in Bloemfontein.
A total of M3.5 million which will cover landscaping around each statue had already been provided for in the 2018/19 budget.
Mosisili said they had also learnt that a special blanket was recently launched in honour of Chief Jonathan in Phutha-Ditjhaba in Qwa-Qwa.
He said the main road that connects Ladybrand and the Maseru border post will also be renamed after the late Jonathan.

Mosisili argues that the decision to honour Jonathan “is at best a highly controversial and disputatious decision that needs proper and unfettered ventilation”.
He said the documented history of Lesotho shows that Leabua declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution and ruled by decree after he lost elections in 1970.
Mosisili said Leabua then unleashed a reign of terror on his political opponents that saw thousands of innocent men and women being killed.
“In his time, Chief Jonathan dismantled all the pillars of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. He totally disregarded the Latimer House principles on the separation of powers,” he argued.

Mosisili informed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the ANC president, that Leabua perpetrated the worst atrocities in the history of Lesotho, including mass murders and systematic executions.

“I, myself, was locked up with many others at the Maximum Security Prison for 15 months and denied opportunity of recourse to any court of law or even access to a lawyer,” Mosisili said.
Incidentally, Mosisili said one of the youths who was brutally killed and whose remains have still not been recovered was Jama Mbeki, a younger brother to former President Thabo Mbeki.
He said Jama was the President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) at Roma during their undergraduate student days.
The letter informed Ramaphosa that for 15 of the 20 years he was in power, Leabua unleashed a reign of terror on his own people while masquerading as a champion of the oppressed in South Africa.
“Bestowing an honour upon such a person is truly an affront to fundamental human values. It would be an absolute trauma to see the statue of Chief Leabua beside that of the highly esteemed OR Tambo to say nothing about a road that is literally on the Lesotho border being named after him,” the letter reads.
He said this would indeed represent a very serious travesty of South Africa’s liberation struggle and a direct and totally unwarranted slap in the face for the people of Lesotho and democrats in South Africa and beyond.

“Your country will endeavour to undertake a comprehensive research, including serious discussions with all stakeholders to establish whether Chief Jonathan deserves any honour at all.
“We would gladly make our experts available for such a study, and would willingly provide the relevant documentation,” the letter partly reads.
Basotho National Party (BNP) spokesman Machesetsa Mofomobe said Mosisili’s letter smacks of jealousy.

Mofomobe said they will not bother themselves with Mosisili who thinks he could thwart the ANC from honouring Chief Jonathan.
He said it was the BNP government under the leadership of Jonathan that protected ANC members from the brutal apartheid regime.
Mofomobe said at that time “Mosisili was in Transkei enjoying the fruits of the apartheid regime”.

“Leabua has left an indelible mark in the history of Lesotho and South Africa and his name will be remembered forever,” Mofomobe said.
“No single ANC member could say Leabua was a dictator,” Mofomobe said.
The ANC’s Free State chairman, Sam Mashinini, said Chief Leabua is being honoured because under his leadership the BNP “played a meaningful role in our struggle against apartheid and colonialism”.

“The African National Congress is indebted to the BNP and to the Basotho people in general, for the role they played in our struggle,” Mashinini said in a statement.
“In the BNP, the ANC found a strategic political ally during the difficult period of the struggle,” he said.
“As President OR Tambo stated in his letter to Dr Jonathan, the ANC shall always appreciate the bold determination of the BNP to ensure that our political refugees who fled South Africa, consistently found refuge in Lesotho.”

But South Africa’s Congress of the People (COPE) Free State chairperson, Papi Kganare, said the building of the statue is just a waste of money.
“COPE Free State does not understand why the ANC would waste millions of Rands to honour a dictator and murderer who has been dishonoured by his own country,” Kganare told thepost last night.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Free State provincial leader Patricia Kopane said it is uncalled for that when the people in the Free State Province are wallowing in poverty the ANC is intending to build a statue.

Kopane who is also the DA shadow Minister of Health said the Free State has 2. 8 million people and one million of these people are not working.
She said it is an undeniable fact that Leabua has played a critical role in saving lives of South Africans during those trying times.
She said the ANC could have built a school for Basotho in Lesotho and not a statue.

She argued that Basotho are still coming for health services in South Africa while others are attending schools in South Africa.

Majara Molupe

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