BNP fight turns nasty

BNP fight turns nasty

MASERU-TWO candidates vying to lead the Basotho National Party (BNP), ’Malineo Matsephe and ’Mota Nkuatsana, are in trouble for allegedly “bringing the party into disrepute”.
The party’s secretary general, Tšepo Lethobane, has instructed the two to withdraw comments they made which he says were an attack on the BNP.

Lethobane has also instructed Motsephe and Nkuatsana to go to Radio Lesotho where they reportedly uttered the words against the party to publicly withdraw the comments and ask for forgiveness from BNP members.
Lethobane accuses the duo of saying the BNP is corrupt, thus “tarnishing the good image” of the party.

In regard to Nkuatsana’s words at Radio Lesotho’s morning current affairs programme, Seboping, Lethobane accuses him of saying “there was a girl who was fondled that could lead to her rape”.
Lethobane said they should do this within seven days, starting from Monday this week.
Nkuatsana, a lawyer by profession and practice, responded to the letter refusing to ask for forgiveness.
Nkuatsana challenged Lethobane’s insinuation that he “broke/ compromised/trampled intentionally or unintentionally” a document guiding the leadership candidacy race.

Nkuatsana said Lethobane’s letter does not state whether he wrote in his personal capacity or on behalf of the national executive in its sitting.
“Or are you writing as a complainant (since you say you were embarrassed by what you say I said at the Radio Lesotho),” he said.
“Or are you writing as a mediator,” he mocked him, adding: “Or you write as a prosecutor.”

He also ridiculed Lethobane, saying he was writing as a judge, “since you say your decision is that I should ask for forgiveness”.
Nkuatsana denied that he said the BNP is corrupt because when he went to Radio Lesotho his intention was to tout votes so that he could lead the party.
“I cannot canvass to lead a corrupt party,” he said.
“You did not hear properly.”

He challenged Lethobane to go to Radio Lesotho to ask for the record of the programme so that he could hear whether he said the BNP was corrupt or not.
He also said he did not understand on which part of his alleged statements he should ask for forgiveness – for saying the BNP is corrupt or “this issue that people widely talk about that a girl/woman was fondled at the BNP offices?”

He also asked if he reminded Basotho or BNP members of a secret they were not supposed to remember or “to know according to you?”
“In your letter you did not show me evidence that the BNP members or the people are complaining but I am aware that you are the one complaining,” he said.

“I find nothing causing me or compelling me to ask for forgiveness from anybody or to go to the radio to do so,” he said.
He said instead, Lethobane should take action to safeguard the BNP’s image by taking the “suspect of (the) fondling to the courts of law”.
“You should also tell him (the fondling suspect) to go to the radio to ask for forgiveness for tarnishing the image of the party,” he said.
Nkuatsana said he was referring to a case in which one ’Mamaria Chakache opened a case at the police.

The sexual harassment case was opened under number RCI/17/07/19 against the party’s deputy leader Machesetsa Mofomobe who is now in the race for the party’s leadership.
Nkuatsana said he is surprised that Lethobane has not taken any action despite that the case was much advertised in the media and the party has not refuted the allegations.

He also said Lethobane, if he was serious about protecting the party’s image, should have taken action about the deputy leader’s use of derogative and racist statements against a party member, one Lefa McPherson, and the people of Namibia.
“Because of these reasons, Sir, I am not apologising for anything.”

Staff Reporter

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