Why Mokhothu fled

Why Mokhothu fled

MASERU – DEMOCRATIC Congress (DC) deputy leader Mathibeli Mokhothu says he saw three ‘hit lists’ that included his name before he fled the country.
“It was clear I was one of those people who were supposed to be eliminated,” Mokhothu said in an interview with thepost.
The former minister said he is now safe somewhere in Southern Africa and would only return when there are strong assurances that nothing will happen to him.
He said since leaving Lesotho last week he has been inundated with calls from newspapers, radio stations and other people wanting to understand what is happening.
“That has left me really stressed,” he said.

Mokhothu said since July he has seen three different versions of the alleged hit list and all had his name.
Why anyone might want him dead, is a question the former sports minister said still boggles his mind.
“I wouldn’t say I know why they want me dead. Honestly I have no answer to that one. There are a lot of other people on that list.”
This paper has, thus far, failed to verify the authenticity of the alleged ‘hit list’.
Mokhuthu said his initial suspicion that the ‘hit list’ was the work of some mischievous person “out to cause unnecessary fear” started crumbling when “everyone on the list started getting arrested or being killed”.

First on the list, he alleged, was Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wife, Lipolello who was shot dead in June.
“That told me that this ‘hit list’ was real.”  “But if I had any doubt that this thing was real then what happened on Monday last week convinced me that my life was in danger.”
Mokhothu was referring to the arrest of Tseliso Mokhosi, the deputy leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).
Police allegedly tortured Mokhosi before charging him with the murder of Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng. He has since been granted bail.

“At that point it became clear to me. After Mokhosi they were going to arrest his leader deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing. It would look like it was Mokhosi who told the police about Metsing.”  “After Metsing it was going to be me. They were going to torture me before arresting former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili. Again, that would have looked like I am the one who told them about Mosisili.”

He said when he eventually left the country he had been told that the police were on their way to his house.
Mokhothu said he is aware of some murmurs that he and Metsing are getting a taste of their own medicine, having been in government when Thomas Thabane and two other opposition leaders fled the country in 2015.

But he said it is not fair to draw analogies to the two incidents which he insisted have different origins and causes.
“Its rubbish because we never sent the police to harass opposition leaders. Thabane was not being chased by the police when he left the country at that time. He was never called to the police and then tortured.”

He was equally vehement when asked about allegations that the opposition leaders were running away from the army which some say had a cosy relationship with the former government.
“But the army never killed a political figure. There was never such.”
“Even the unfortunate incident of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao had nothing to do with the government. He was killed in an operation dully authorised by the army. The army never denied that this was an authorised operation,” Mokhuthu said.

“It was an unfortunate incident that we also strongly condemned as government before inviting SADC to help investigate through a commission of inquiry.”
He said “this time around there seems to be a government-approved operation to harass people and trample on democracy”.
“They are terrorising the opposition and other people. This is now a police state silencing the masses.”
He hopes SADC would “intervene before the situation gets worse”.

Staff Reporter

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