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MUCKRAKER would like to put it on record in red ink that she vehemently opposes the decision to charge her child, Scrutator, for criminal defamation. Scrutator appeared in court on Tuesday to face one charge of allegedly defaming Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli.

The prosecution alleges that Scrutator, a naughty child Muckraker is sometimes proud to have sired some eight years ago, defamed the General in a satiric column on June 23.

Muckraker will not repeat the article word for word lest she also joins her offspring in the dock. It’s enough say the article in question was a biting one that left the General bruised.

In it Scrutator tells a fictitious story, with some tired syntax at times, of how the commander bursts into a cabinet meeting, frogmarches Size Two and his ministers into the grounds at the State House.

It says he then ordered them to strip their shirts off to do some press-ups.

She then describes, in such specific details as if she was a witness, how some of the ministers fared in that forced gym session. There were six packs, pot bellies, heavy breathing and even fainting, according to the imaginary story. Half way in the article she says the General then ordered the ministers to carry him on a makeshift throne. There was a bit of skirt-lifting from the female cabinet ministers, according to the story.

Muckraker laughed her head off after reading that article. It had a hilarious element to it and clearly showed that Scrutator had absconded some few lessons on how to cover your behind when poking fun at those who can make you scale the mountain like a baboon.

The story could have been handled with much more prudence and finesse. You can bite without being brutal. There is no need to behave like a crocodile that shakes a prey that is already in the jaws.

Still it was a decent attempt, never mind that the daughter sometimes forgets that full-stops and not comas is what makes sentences sharp. It matters not that Scrutator had forgotten that anger is for the slow-minded and a satirist should never immerse herself in the story.

It is the sophisticated aloofness to the drama around her that keeps the satire flowing. Fodder for satire comes to those who stand at a vantage point while the drama unfolds, not the participants. The truth is that Scrutator might have put a toe beyond the parametres of her satirical yard.  She trespassed.

But that doesn’t justify dragging her by the ears to the courts using an “I-have-got-you” section of the Penal Code. Muckraker can think of a zillion of worse things that have been said about the General on radio stations, in bars, on social media platforms and in newspapers. And those things were not said in a satiric column like Scrutator but as a matter of fact.

Surely Scrutator must get some credit for at least wrapping her jabs in a veil, no matter how thin it was. In any case, the criminal defamation law the prosecution is using is a relic of the colonial area.

Progressive countries have consigned similar laws into the legal dustbin. Even the one north of us and is run by some deranged old man who became a grandpapa at the age of 92, had the courage to strike criminal defamation laws off its books.

Surprised that I am defending a rival columnist? Well even a delinquent child deserves a mother’s support. Muckraker sincerely hopes Scrutator will not be screwed on this one.

khoabane thekoChief Khoabane Theko is a man of many bile-laced words. He is a grouchy chief with a short fuse.

A cantankerous character who never shies away from fights, whether petty or real. In fact the smaller the matter the more annoyed he gets.

Prick him slightly and he will demand a pound of flesh. He will bash you with both words and fists. That is just who he is and many have come to accept him as such: a garrulous chief with a short temper.

Sometimes you shudder at his propensity to swim in the gutter cheerfully, especially when he opens his mouth. Yet even with that porcupine spirit we have made space for him in our hearts, reluctantly conceding that royalty is not akin to class.

Of that, some of us have never been under any illusion. There is nothing to be gained by disowning your chief just because sometimes his mouth sprints away from his brain like Usain Bolt.

After all, he was not appointed but bestowed upon you by lineage. We have embraced this shrub with its sweet fruits and horrid thorns.

Muckraker gave up trying to change Chief Theko many moons ago. He is zealously adamant in his waywardness and insolent in his stubbornness. Unlike other people he cannot be fired. Good for him.


What Muckraker will not accept though is the prating chief’s ego which he insists others must feed to his content. A few weeks ago he went haywire after Home Affairs Minister Lekhetho Rakuoane forgot to stroke his ego at a private function in Thaba Bosiu.

What incensed the chief was that Rakuoane had not recognised his wife. The minister made the mistake of asking who the chief’s wife was: a cardinal sin, according to Chief Theko who suffers under the crummy notion that everyone should know his family members.

When news of that probing question from the minister reached him the chief was inconsolable. Rumour has it that he was apoplectic with rage.

The minister had pulled the middle finger at the owner of the Thaba Bosiu kingdom (kikikikikkikiki, let the daughter of ‘MaMuckraker laugh louder that a monkey). He had peed into the village well and was making funny faces at the chief instead of walking with his lawyer hung on his shoulders.

So when he stepped into a meeting at the Senate a few days later the minister found the chief ready to wallop him with a salted sjambok. Rakuoane did not know what hit him. One minute he was all bubbly and the next he was crawling under the tables, with the chief unleashing terror on his well-nourished skin.


First the chief accused the minister of snubbing him. But before he could respond the chief was laying more charges on him.

The minister had not recognised him in absentia, he forgot to remind the organisers to give him a blanket and disrespected him, the chief fumed. Worst of all, the chief thundered, the minister asked his wife who she was.

“Asking her who she was, was very arrogant. You could at least have asked some people who were there with her, or asked her privately after the event,” the chief said.

Futho Hoohlo, the vice-president of the Senate, tried to put out the fire but the chief told him to put down his behind. Take your nose out of our business and go find somewhere to play, the chief said to Hoohlo.

Hoohlo obligingly deposited his behind back into a chair like a nincompoop depositing his money into MMM. And there his behind remained, firmly stuck like the MMM riches that never came.

He promptly zipped his mouth, leaving a shell-shocked Rakuoane to defend himself from the barrage of attacks from the chief. Nothing the minister said could make the chief let up.

The chief, of course, is not one to be bothered by the dictates of decorum. Civility is just a nuisance never to be allowed to get in the way of a good fight. Had he any semblance of shame he would have realised he was kicking up a fuss over nothing.


That Rakuoane did not recognise his wife is not a crime because the chief has never put up a billboard in Maseru to show her off to all. She doesn’t have a “T” on her forehead to show that he is Chief Theko’s wife.

And even if she is tattooed with such, it is not his business when people fail to recognise her. The price of bread won’t come down because a minister memorised the face of a chief’s wife.

Chief Theko should abstain from taking himself too seriously because he is just a chief of Thaba Bosiu. He rules there, not all over. His subjects are the people of Thaba Bosiu only.

This business of flaunting his weight has to stop because next time he might not face softies like Rakuoane. It was such a sorry sight, watching Rakuoane trying to speak sense to a chief who didn’t give a rat’s behind about his explanation.

Were it Muckraker she would have simply jumped outside and invited the chief to a quick exchange of blows. The problem with the chief is that he likes to pick fights with people who have something to lose. Next time his hands start itching to him something the chief should just email Muckraker on .com.

The invitation should be copied to the Commissioner of Police and Lesotho Funeral Services because Muckraker is a thug with no drop of royal blood in her. Justice Peete should also be present so he doesn’t require witnesses when the matter comes to court. Muckraker is a commoner who doesn’t suffer unmitigated fools.


So someone at Lefa, that pathetic excuse of a football association, has decided to pummel each Likuena players with a M9 000-gift. That is the reward to our team for reaching the quarter finals of some fringe regional football tournament called Cosafa.

On the way to the last four they beat Malawi, Angola and Mauritius, countries known for playing something that looks like football.

But that reality could not stop Lefa from celebrating like a kid in a candy shop. Journalists, quick to extract some positives out of what has been a sorry story for years, were at hand to help Lefa crow.

Given the frenzy you would be forgiven for thinking little Lesotho had won the World Cup.  Lefa’s functionaries were on a roll. This was the beginning of a new era, they said as if we don’t know they have never found the magical key to lock Miss Mediocrity in a vault.

We all know, as baboons do, that mediocrity always has a way of escaping so it can embrace us with passion. We are so in love with Miss Mediocrity, such that when she is temporarily away we yearn for her. So we count the days when she will be home to put our heart at ease.

To reassure us that when it comes to football we are just wretched. What keeps us going is our fervent belief in our incompetence.

We may celebrate minor sparkles of brilliance but we all know that after weeks we will always revert back to what we know best: mediocrity. Mediocrity is ours to keep like an inherited goat.



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The market of rascals



THE Market’s management is either high on something illegal or just reckless.
They could also be either proudly incompetent or simply daft.
Muckraker suspects they are high, reckless, incompetent and daft.
That is a heavy burden to carry but self-inflicted and deserved.

Their job is to feed tummies and quench thirsts but they believe they are capable of many jobs. In addition to cooking chickin, they fancy themselves to be detectives, expert witnesses, rape experts, psychologists, communication gurus, criminologists, prosecutors, CCTV analysts and many other things they conjure up in their small minds.
That much is lavishly clear from their crude statement reacting to a woman who alleges she was raped in their toilet last week.
Instead of just acknowledging the alleged incident, The Market was sweating to testify, analyse evidence, scrutinise footage and play judge.
They tell us the alleged victim arrived at the restaurant “heavily intoxicated” as if they had measured the alcohol content in her blood.
They say she had left an “unpaid bill” at another restaurant as if they were the Small Claims Court.
They claim CCTV footage shows the victim coming out of the toilets holding hands with her alleged attacker as if they are certain that the handholding was consensual and not one dragging the other. Make no mistake about the sinister motive behind those salacious details sprinkled all over the statement.
They were gathering wood for a pyre to burn the woman and her allegations.
Their demented reasoning is something like this: she could not have been raped because she was intoxicated, absconded her bill down the street and was holding hands with the alleged attacker. None of those things have been proven and they might be just shameless lies told by uncouth characters.
The point, accepted by everyone else except some nincompoops, is that The Market should not have mentioned anything about a bill or intoxication. They are not just trivialising her serious allegations but also calling her a drunk who dodges bills and lies about being raped.
They do this by telling what they believe to be a cogent tale to illustrate that her story is incredible.
Muckraker read that clumsy statement several times and each time she was further disgusted by both the writer and The Market as a business.
They say the gentleman from another restaurant who is “well known to The Market staff” claimed that the woman had left an unpaid bill. That is not some random anecdote but an attempt to justify why they allowed him into the bar after they had closed.
It could also be a flimsy attempt at saying the man could not have violated the woman because he is “well known” to them.
As soon as the narration started Muckraker knew The Market was on an evil path.
And boy, did they march with vigour.
They say while the two were discussing the unpaid bill, the victim “indicated that she needed the bathroom”. Then comes the killer line in the statement: “Moments later, the said gentleman also walked to the bathroom, where after a while they both emerged holding hands”.
The public is invited to conclude that the discussion about the unpaid bill was resolved in the toilet and the two “emerged holding hands”.
In other words, whatever was said or happened in the toilet was so mutual that a debt was settled and hands were held.
The victim blaming and bashing could have ended there but The Market was just getting started.
After social media clobbered them for their callous and inept statement, The Market came back with a second one pretending to be correcting the first one.
This time they tried to sanitise the first statement by weeding out the offensive parts but avoided withdrawing the first statement and sincerely apologising to the woman.
They forget that people will never unlearn what they learned from the first statement and are most likely to read the second statement as an update rather than a correction.
But just like that, The Market thinks they have dodged the bullet so they can go back to their cooking and notorious upselling.
Their message to women is stinging: “It’s your funeral if you run away from a bill and get raped in our toilets. We will protect ourselves and the suspects at all costs. For good measure, we will tell the public you enjoyed free drinks and got so drunk that you made allegations of rape against our friend who was only trying to get you to pay”.
Muckraker will not speculate on what happened but can say, without fear or favour, that The Market’s management are unmitigated and unrepentant rascals. Only a business managed by accredited scoundrels reacts with such brazen thuggery to allegations of rape on its premises. Muckraker didn’t say CHE accredits scoundrels but that the mischief exhibited by The Market is of such high quality that it deserves a certification of sorts and at a higher level. It’s Level 8 stuff.
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu


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The Market of nonsense



You are wrong if you think The Market’s statement about the alleged rape in their toilets is just terrible public relations or some error of judgment.
The statement reflects society’s attitude towards rape victims and women in general. That much is clear in the statement’s tone.

The statement says the alleged victim was “heavily intoxicated” but the truth is that its author was drunk from both something illegal and prejudice.
Even someone who had drunk all the beer, ciders, cocktails, whisky, gin and brandy in The Market would not come up with such a statement. This is top-notch BS rehearsed over years and expertly mastered. The Makhadzi dance to the alleged victim’s trauma.
But there is more to show their contempt for the alleged victim.
The one-page statement mentions the alleged victim’s name five times. Five!
It has 11 sentences and mentions the victim’s name in five of them.
It is unethical to mention rape victims by name but The Market did it anyway because they probably wanted to remind everyone that she is “that woman”.
You can bet your last January kobo that some dunderheads will justify naming her on the basis that she had already identified herself by posting the incident on social media. Nonsense!
The Market had no right to identify her by name in their statement.
They didn’t seek her consent. And even if they did, it’s still unethical.
To see that mentioning her name five times was not an innocent mistake you have to check how many times the statement mentions her alleged attacker‘s name. Zero!
This is despite that the alleged victim had revealed his name, or at least part of it, on social media. They call him “a staff member of one of the establishments at Maseru” and a “gentleman”.
They don’t even say the man is from one of the establishments at Maseru Mall because that would instantly narrow the list and expose him.
So they resort to saying “Maseru” as if Maseru City is synonymous with Maseru Mall. The idea was to keep his identity as vague as possible. Even if the alleged victim had not mentioned his name The Market knew him because the statement says he is “well known to The Market staff”.
There is a method to the madness here. The Market was at pains to protect the alleged attacker while loudly shouting the victim’s name. Ideally, neither the victim nor the suspect should have been mentioned by name. She is a victim of rape and the suspect was yet to appear in court.
Those with an eye for detail might have also noticed that The Market unashamedly tries to pretend to have suddenly discovered the woman’s rape allegations on her Facebook page. She reported to their staff soon after the alleged incident.
Muckraker will end this depressing story with one more observation.
The Market’s statement mentions “toilets” as if they have many toilets.
The reality is that it’s one toilet for men and women. The main entrance is the same and so is the washing area.
On busy nights you can use either of the cubicles. Muckraker has seen men budging into the women’s cubicle and vice-versa. “Hona le motho!” is a common scream in that toilet.
Muckraker has bumped into men with open zips and women pulling up their pants in the washing area. Women fixing their bras bump heads with men tucking in their shirts.
Whoever designed that toilet has a brain the size of the punctuation mark at the end of this sentence.
There are no words for those who thought it fit to be used by their patrons.
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu


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Is Kabi a real lekoloane?



Is Kabi a real lekoloane? That is not a trick question so don’t bother scratching your stressed head.
Even the goats in Matatiele, where he is alleged to have been initiated, know he is not a real lekoloane.
They know what he did last December and are as disgusted as the other makoloane who rightly feel he has cheated his way to the title.

The Matatiele goats know that other initiates had to spend at least five weeks at the initiation school to earn the honour of being called a lekoloane.
The leadership of the national initiation committee says claiming to be a lekoloane after just 72 hours at an initiation school is “unacceptable”.
Muckraker will call it fraud until Kabi proves otherwise.
Muckraker is not saying this to humiliate Kabi. He is a good fella but the stubborn reality is that he didn’t complete the course and therefore has no business pretending to be qualified.
It’s not as if Kabi entered the school with credits from another school. There was no transfer letter.
If there is a letter he should name his former principal.
He cannot claim to have attended initiation classes through Zoom and then went to complete the course with some practicals for 72 hours. He didn’t do distance learning because initiation schools are not UNISA.
There is no crash course in initiation school. That he qualified for mature entry doesn’t mean he could just sneak into the school hours before graduation and then claim to be a certified lekoloane.
The issue is not whether Kabi believes he is a real lekoloane because that doesn’t matter. Being in a plane doesn’t make you a pilot even if you scream to be regarded as one.
Muckraker has visited NUL’s law school but cannot claim to be a lawyer. She has joined the wires on her phone charger but is no electrician.
The real Makoloane are furious because he has cheated his way to their title and wants to be treated as their equal. They are right. Yet what Kabi has done is more serious than stealing a title. He has corrupted the institution of initiation.
He had no excuse for pulling the 72-hour trick at the initiation school.
Parliament was closed, they had dismally failed to topple Uncle Sam and his party is dead. He cannot claim he was busy running the ABC because Feselady and her hubby are still in charge.
For the past week, Muckraker has been wondering why Kabi could deliberately inflict such dishonour on himself.
The answer is that Kabi is entitled like other politicians. He wants to have the best for his minimum effort.
They want to earn the best perks but still claim to be the people’s humble servants. They want the people to vote for them for merely being present or promising something.
When held to the highest standards they point to the incompetence of other politicians.
Their favourite refrain is “at least….”
Kabi desperately wanted to be a lekoloane but was not prepared to put in the work.
The second part of the answer is that Kabi, like other politicians, thought he could get away with it. It’s an attitude informed by the general contempt politicians have for those they believe are beneath them.
It’s just that he has underestimated the resolve of other initiates to protect their institution from fraudsters and imposters.
Now he will be remembered as a political leader who was caught, pants down, masquerading as a lekoloane. The national initiation committee has said he is not wanted near an initiation school and if he is seen in the vicinity he will be forced to repeat the course.
Muckraker thinks “repeat” is not the right word. He will be starting from Grade 1, doing the ‘a, e, i, o, u’ of initiation school.
Kabi is worse than a high school dropout because dropouts don’t show up for graduation.
He is worse than those who insist on using the honorary doctorate title because, at least, that title is given voluntarily. There is nothing called an honourary lekoloane. You are either or not.
Those who cheat in exams are way better than him because, at least, they would have attended classes and qualified for exams but are just too daft. Kabi didn’t attend classes or take the exam.
He just arrived when others were rehearsing their graduation songs, got himself smeared with ochre and proudly walked to the podium to be capped.
Kabi is welcome to call himself a lekoloane but he will be a lekoloane in his head and not to anyone else.
He might as well have spent the 72 hours plotting to topple Uncle Sam because he will never be a lekoloane even if he smears himself with a Maqalika of ochre and recites initiation songs a million times.
A man who is not initiated is called a leqai but what do we call one who tries to cheat their way to initiation?
Let’s call him a kabi. And that is a real title because it is earned. Finally, oh finally, Kabi has invented something useful. Hooray!
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu


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