Lesotho Times boss’ defamation case moved to October

Lesotho Times boss’ defamation case moved to October

Rapelang Mosae

MASERU

THE defamation case of Lesotho Times publisher and chief executive, Basildon Peta, has been moved to October 24 and 25.

Peta was charged with criminal defamation after he published a satirical column called Scrutator in which he lampooned army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

The prosecution says the article was defamatory.

He is currently out on bail after paying bail of M800 and surety of M30 000.

Peta, whose criminal defamation case was supposed to be debated before the magistrate on Tuesday, applied for an extension of his remand citing his personal insecurity.

Chief Magistrate ’Matankiso Nthunya extended Peta’s remand yesterday after hearing his concerns about his security in the country.

The prosecution did not oppose the application.

Peta’s lawyer, Neil Fraser, told the court yesterday that he had earlier asked the court to grant permission for his client not to appear before the court during the application, a request the court granted.

Fraser asked the court to extend Peta’s remand following what he said were personal threats against his client.

Fraser indicated that his client feared for his safety hence his absence in Lesotho and subsequent failure to appear before court.

He stated that he had spoken to his counterpart in the Director of Public Prosecution’s office who had not objected to the application.

Peta’s application came barely two weeks after his editor, Lloyd Mutungamiri, escaped death by a whisker when unidentified gunmen shot him on the jaw when he entered his home in Maseru.

The editor’s attempted murder came after a political activist and official of one of the ruling parties allegedly called for the killing of “these Makoerekoere”.

“Makoerekoere” is a derogatory name for black non-Basotho who come from across the Limpopo and north of Africa.

Peta and Mutungamiri are from Zimbabwe.

After Mutungamiri was shot, Peta published an open letter addressed to the political activist whom he accused of fueling xenophobic attacks against foreigners.

 

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