‘Victims families sponsored by the government’

‘Victims families sponsored by the government’

MASERU – A SENIOR Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader has accused the government of colluding with some aggrieved families to institute court cases in an attempt to scare Mothetjoa Metsing. Apesi Ratšele, who is the LCD deputy spokesman, said this at a press conference to brief the media on the party’s plans to welcome Metsing from exile.
The government immediately dismissed the charge.

Metsing and other exiled leaders are expected home on Sunday.
Ratšele said while they commiserate with the victims’ families they are increasingly getting worried by what appears to be collusion between the families and the government.
He said the government, which signed an agreement with the opposition not to prosecute Metsing and other exiled leaders, is sponsoring the families’ legal battle against the government.
Ratšele did not provide any evidence to back up the claim.

The families of victims of human rights violations have challenged a clause in the agreement which provides that Metsing and other exiles will not be prosecuted pending the national reforms.
Ratšele also said the government is rewarding the same families with lucrative jobs in government.
Ratšele cited the case of the wife of slain commander of the Lesotho Defence Force Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, ’Mamphanya Mahao, who has been given a job as the water commissioner.

The late Lt. Gen. Mahao was brutally killed by junior soldiers in 2015 in what the army described as an attempt to arrest him that went wrong.
Ratšele said ’Mamphanya was made to quit her job so that she could work as the water commissioner.
“Her package is estimated to be M130 000 per month, which goes together with some benefits,” he said.

The LCD spokesman, Teboho Sekata, said other families of victims are still benefiting although much less than Mahao’s family.
Sekata said the government is suing itself in the courts because the victims’ families are supporters of the parties that are in government.
He said the families strategically withdrew Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki as one of the respondents in the case because they have party affiliations.
Moleleki was strongly criticised by some followers of the parties in government after he signed the agreement with the opposition.

Sekata said they are happy that the government, the opposition and SADC had reached a solid agreement that concerns their leader’s security.
Government spokesman Nthakeng Selinyane (Pictured) said it is not a secret that the current government is empathetic as it was elected on the platform of justice.
He said the government has decided not to oppose but to appear before the court to explain where it came from and how it entered into the agreement.

Selinyane said the government never had any contact with the victims’ families.
The families are very angry at the government, he said.
“But I cannot say there is war between the government and the victims’ families,” he said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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