Ntsekele tightens bolts on Mahao faction

Ntsekele tightens bolts on Mahao faction

MASERU – MINISTER Samonyane Ntsekele, secretary general of the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s outgoing committee, is making swift moves to completely shut the door on a rival faction.
On Tuesday, Ntsekele filed an urgent application seeking an order to stop the newly elected national executive committee from holding itself as the ABC committee.
If granted, the order would allow Ntsekele and his camp to consolidate their grip on the ABC’s reins.

Led by Professor Nqosa Mahao, the new committee is still reeling from a shock High Court judgement that nullified the February special conference that elected it.
The order granted by Justice Maseforo Mahase last Tuesday said the conference that elected Prof Mahase was illegal because the ABC’s constitution doesn’t have a provision for such a conference.
The order handed the party’s control back to Ntsekele’s committee with an instruction to amend the constitution and have an election in the next 12 months.

This was despite that Justice Mahase is yet to rule in another related matter in which some members of the old committee are challenging the special conference’s results.
Ntsekele seems to have seized on the order and is using it to consolidate his faction’s hold on power.
Ntsekele’s lawyer in the latest case is Advocate Thulo Hoeane, the legal brains behind the order the water minister is now brandishing against Prof Mahao’s committee.
The respondents are new deputy leader Prof Mahao, new secretary general Lebohang Hlaele, the new chairman Sam Rapapa, new spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa and his deputy ’Matebatso Doti.

In a certificate of urgency, Adv Hoeane wants the court to declare that it is unlawful for Prof Mahao and his team to continue to claim to be the rightful executive committee.
He argues if “unchecked” such claims could potentially “cause violence between themselves and their followers on the one hand and the general members of the” ABC.
This, he says, will damage “the good name and integrity of the party”.

Ntsekele is also asking the court to order Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli, to stop issuing permits for public gatherings to Mahao’s committee.
Such an order, he says, will ensure that Prof Mahao and his committee do not participate “in any rallies and/or meetings purportedly in their capacities individually or collectively as members” of the ABC national executive committee.

Ntsekele is also seeking an order instructing the Minister of Police to block Molibeli from issuing permits to the new committee.
Ntsekele also wants the court to instruct the Minister of Local Government, Litšoane Litšoane, to ensure that chiefs will not issue any permits to Prof Mahao’s committee to “hold any rallies or attend any rallies”.

Last night Prof Mahao’s committee said it was unfazed by last week’s judgement and Ntsekele’s application.
Masoetsa, the new committee’s spokesperson, told thepost yesterday that “the newly filed case in court is the last kick of the dying horse”.
Masoetsa said Ntsekele’s actions are a desperate effort to sabotage the new committee and its followers.

He said he is aware that on Tuesday Ntsekele’s camp met to discuss ways to restrain the new committee so that it doesn’t keep meeting ABC supporters.
He also said they were aware that there is a serious move to purge the civil service of ABC members who are seen as supporters of the new committee.
“How can a politician propose a block freedom of association and freedom of assembly?” Masoetsa added.

He said people will be shocked that the ABC, a party founded on principles of freedom, says chiefs should not allow constituency rallies without Ntsekele’s approval.
“He says the Local Government Minister should have control over the chiefs,” Masoetsa said.
Masoetsa said his committee is shocked that Ntsekele wants the police to stop issuing permits for rallies.

“Freedom of association is at stake,” he said.
He said all constituency rallies will continue to invite the new executive committee until the courts say they should stop. He said their lawyers will tomorrow file papers to defend the case.

“We are going to Mantšonyane constituency rally this coming weekend,” Masoetsa said.
Ntsekele said “Masoetsa and his associates are playing dirty politics”.
“They want sympathy and they do not know how to look for it,” Ntsekele said.
“They should not drag us into dirty politics. That is not right.”

Staff Reporter


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