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Five threaten to sue RFP



MASERU – FIVE members of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) have given the party an ultimatum to reverse its “undemocratic” selection of election candidates or they will sue.

The five wrote to the party this week through their lawyers, Tšabeha and Associates, threatening to take the RFP to court if it refuses to budge.

The members stormed to victory in primary elections held last month but the party leadership went on to handpick candidates who will now stand in the October 7 general election.

The five are Moloi Ralentsoe from Makhaleng, Kobeli Letlailana from Lithoteng, Matlotlo Ramaboli from Mechechane, Tšepo Joseph Lethobane from Thaba-Putsoa and Lejone Puseletso from Thaba Moea.

“Clients inform us that despite winning the said primary elections that were held on 10 July 2022 their names have been substituted by the party with other individuals,” the letter reads.

Ralentsoe was replaced by Motjoka Toloane, Letlailana was replaced by Lebohang Letsoela, and Ramaboli was replaced by Tumo Molefe.

Lethobane was substituted by Sherif Mothopeng while Puseletso was replaced by Pokello Mahlomola.

They said despite their request to have the matter resolved peacefully their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.

They said they want the list of nominees to reflect the primary election results and not the arbitrary misuse of power by the executive committee.

“It is our client’s case that the executive committee or any structure within the RFP does not have the power to substitute the names of the nominees who won the elections freely and fairly,” the letter reads.

“We expect your response by close of business on Friday the 19th August 2022 failing which we shall be left with no option but to approach the courts of law for appropriate redress.”

In what could be a clear case of confusion within the RFP, the party’s supporters in Thaba-Putsoa are backing Mothopeng who was handpicked by the leadership.

A group of the party’s supporters drove to the RFP’s head office to show their support for Mothopeng. Mothopeng lost to Lethobane in the primary elections.

One of the supporters, Monaheng Mothae, told thepost that they were not happy that the party had bowed to pressure and installed Lethobane as the party’s candidate.

Mothae said they were told last week that Mothopeng would no longer represent them as initially mentioned.

“They said they will look for another position for him in the executive and we oppose that,” Mothae said.

He also complained that their party leadership is making a lot of crucial decisions without consulting them as members at the constituency level.

“We should be involved,” he said.

“They should not just approach the candidate without us.”

He said they want Mothopeng as he is educated and knows the constituency very well.

The leadership, bowing to the people’s pressure, then picked Mothopeng again and now Lethobane is threatening to sue.

In Khubetsoane constituency Peter Morolong has also written to the party telling it that he will represent the constituency.

Morolong, who came third during the primaries, was handpicked by the leadership only to be told later that he would be deployed somewhere else and he should withdraw his candidacy.

He has rejected the party’s directive.

“I will continue as the candidate for Khubetsoana, the RFP members say they also need my competency at the constituency level,” Morolong said.

He stated that they did a lot of work from day one after the formation of the RFP.

“We spent a lot of resources to market the RFP,” he said.

He also stated that they strongly believe that they are in the right space to win the elections.

“Any change at this stage will cause severe consequences and is not in the best interest of the party.”

The leadership had told him that they liked his skills and no longer wanted him as a candidate in Khubetsoana as previously said.

The leadership wants to redeploy him at the executive level as the party is establishing a think-tank that will generate policies for the party.

RFP leader Sam Matekane told a rally in Butha-Buthe on Sunday that they are not ashamed of their decision to ask for only four candidates from the primaries so that he could select qualifying constituency candidates from them.

“We made that decision after realising that Lesotho is going nowhere despite its 50 years of independence,” Matekane said.

“We decided to change the type of politics because the country has been going down,” he said.

He added that they felt bad as businessmen that their country is stuck in the mud and “we then decided to join politics”.

“The way the primary elections have been done was wrong, it failed to work for the past 50 years,” he said.

Matekane said they believe that the right way to choose candidates is sitting down and doing interviews so that they choose the best candidate to go to parliament.

He said those he has not picked should not run away because “your party needs you so badly to deliver services all over the country”.

Nkheli Liphoto

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6 more added to Manyokole’s corruption case



MASERU – SIX more officials from the Land Administrative Authority (LAA) and the Maseru City Council (MCC) were this week joined to Lefu Manyokole’s corruption case.

Ntšebo Putsoa, Ntsoaki Matobo, Matlaleha Phahlane, Thakane Tau, Phakoane Pitikoe and Lebaka Matlatsa were formally charged and appeared before Magistrate ’Makopano Rantšo on Monday.

Court papers show that the accused contravened the Land Act between April 2016 and May 2018 at the LAA, they unlawfully and intentionally fraudulently processed the registration or issued a lease or any other document or instrument relating to land plot no. 13291-1110.

The state alleges that Manyokole, who is the former principal secretary in the Ministry of local government, made false representations to the LAA regarding plot number 13291-1110 to acquire illegal title to it.

The charge sheet says Manyokole, at or near the LAA offices in Maseru, registered or obtained a lease of the plot knowing that it did not belong to him.

Manyokole is accused of contravening provisions of section 83 of the Land Act of 2010 by making a false claim to gain the piece of land.

The court released Manyokole on M1 000 bail last week and ordered him to reappear before the same court last Monday.

Manyokole was granted bail under conditions that he should not interfere with the crown witnesses and that he should report to the police.

His co-accused were also granted bail of M1 000 each by the court.

The court papers showed that the said land was situated in Qoaling in Maseru district and Manyokole and his co-accused knew very well that they are not the official owners of that land.

’Malimpho Majoro

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Storm over fleet maintenance deal



MASERU – Opposition parties are fuming after the government this week picked five companies to maintain its fleet without going through a tender process.

In a January 27, 2023 savingram, the Ministry of Finance said it had appointed Maseru Toyota, Maputsoe Toyota, Lesotho Nissan, Benny Enterprise, and Mdlokovana to maintain the government’s fleet.

The savingram, titled Interim Vehicle Maintenance Guidelines, says the vehicle maintenance contract signed between the Lesotho government and Fleet Services Lesotho (FSL) in 2020 “experienced serious challenges that involved the suspension of services in 2021 which were later resumed partially in 2022”.

“Since then the government made attempts to resolve some issues which were under its control without success,” it reads.

It also says the Ministry of Finance held a meeting with local vehicle service providers accredited by FSL.

“These are Maseru Toyota, Maputsoe Toyota, Lesotho Nissan, Benny Enterprise, and Mdlokovana,” it reads.

It says the purpose of the meeting was to discuss “the possibility of working directly with the government while processes of resolving issues between the government and the FSL shareholders are underway”.

This has however infuriated opposition parties that have accused the government of corruptly dishing out jobs without going through a tender process.

The Democratic Congress (DC)’s deputy leader, Motlalentoa Letsosa, told thepost that the party will soon call a press conference to address the matter.

“We always knew that these rich people would start dishing out tenders to themselves,” Letsosa said.

He said they have been warning the nation about the same people even before the general elections “but they called us names saying we have been benefiting too, now look”.

“The time for the rich people to eat in the face of hungry Basotho has come,” he said.

“No one should cry, we warned them not to vote for these people and they did not listen.”

He complained that the companies mentioned on the savingram did not even tender for the job.

“We are surprised that no tendering processes were followed here.”

He added that when giving themselves the tenders the government suspended the initial company that had been awarded the tender.

“It is not fair at all. How can you be the government and do business with yourself?”

Letsosa said the DC is “against the individualism that is being practised by the parties in government by not advertising the tenders so that all interested parties can bid”.

The Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) leader, Teboho Mojapela, said “the RFP heavyweights (made) their riches through corruption”.

“We always warned the people that these rich men would steal tenders at every chance they get, now they are doing just that,” Mojapela said.

“As a rich man I never did business with the government,” he said.

“This country needs rich leaders on the forefront, but not corrupt ones.”

He said time will expose what Basotho have called upon themselves by voting for the current government.

“They are showing their true colours now.”

He added that this will be a lesson to Basotho to start looking at qualities of politicians when voting.

“They must vote for people who fear God and are faithful,” he said.

“The RFP people are corrupt and all of them will never change, they are going to continue enriching themselves.”

The Basotho Action Party (BAP) deputy leader, Lebohang Thotanyana, said the government is “committing a crime by not issuing tenders for the job”.

“Mdlokovana is an interested party, it is a big mistake to give him a tender unless it is now their policy to award themselves tenders,” Thotanyana said.

Clute Mdlokovana, the owner of the car maintenance chain of businesses named after his name, is the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) MP for Mohale’s Hoek constituency.

Thotanyana said Mdlokovana will not be able to keep service providers to the government accountable as an MP “because he too is a service provider to the government”.

He also said the previous governments always advertised tenders “but these people just sit down and award themselves tenders, they did not even tender”.

The Basotho National Party (BNP) secretary general, Moeketsi Hanyane, also condemned the government’s move.

He recalled that during the BNP government, Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan once barred his ministers from being actively involved in running businesses.

“He told Chief Peete Peete to sell all his buses so that he could give a chance to other Basotho to do business,” Hanyane said.

“It is high time Basotho as a nation stood up to condemn the bad behavior of the RFP,” he said.

“It is not fair that the already rich people will be richer while other citizens suffer,” he said.

“Mdlokovana is a Member of Parliament, imagine how many millions he is going to make with this deal with the government.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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How MP’s wife was killed



MASERU – A suspected love triangle has left an MP’s wife dead.

’Maretšepile Mabote, the wife of Malefane Mabote who is the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) MP for Tsikoane, was allegedly ambushed at her Tsikoane home by a hitman suspected to have been hired by her husband’s long-standing girlfriend.

The girlfriend, Bokang Mahlelehlele, is alleged to have been with the alleged hitman when he sprayed bullets on ’Maretšepile last Friday.

Deputy police spokesperson, Inspector ’Mareabetsoe Mofoka said Maretšepile’s teenage daughter responded to a knock on the door at around 10pm.

Inspector Mofoka said a man at the door asked the daughter to call his mother. She said as ’Maretšepile was approaching the door the man opened fire.

“Unfortunately when the deceased was at the passage to attend to her visitor, she was sprayed with a hail of bullets,” Inspector Mofoka said.

“She died on the spot.”

Inspector Mofoka said the suspect then fled in a 4+1 taxi that was waiting nearby. Alarm was raised and neighbours gave chase.

The neighbours were soon joined by the police. She said as the neighbours approached the car a man who the police suspect to be the hitman jumped out and disappeared into the darkness.

The police and the neighbours however caught up with the car.

Mahlelehlele, 32, whose affair with Mabote is said to be a public secret, was in the car. The driver was 27-year-old Matsoso Maekane. Mahlelehlele and Maekane were arrested and appeared in the Leribe magistrate’s court on Tuesday. They were remanded in custody.

The suspected hitman is still at large.

Inspector Mofoka said so far nothing links Mabote to the murder that has left the people of Tsikoane shocked. Mahlelehlele is a nursing lecturer at the National University of Lesotho while ’Maretšepile, 30, was a nurse at Motebang Hospital in Leribe.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced but Maretšepile’s grieving relatives are fuming.

thepost spoke to three relatives who all said they saw her death coming. They said they knew that Mabote and ’Maretšepile had several quarrels, some violent, about Mahlelehlele.

Mosa Ngatane, ’Maretšepile’s brother, said his sister lived a life of misery because of Mahlelehlele.

Ngatane said he is not surprised that Mahlelehlele is being implicated in the murder because she was openly having an affair with Mabote.

‘Makhomotso Ngatane, Ngatane’s wife and Maretšepile’s sister-in-law, said she knew Mahlelehlele as Mabote’s lover.

She also said she is not surprised Mahlelehlele has been arrested in connection with Maretšepile’s death.

thepost could not verify some of the allegations that ‘Makhomotso made about the way Mabote treated his wife.

She said Maretšepile once lived with her after a particularly nasty dispute with her husband.

Last night, Mabote said he was not in a position to speak about his wife’s death or the allegations that he was having an affair with Mahlelehlele.

“This is too much for me,” Mabote said, adding that he will only be able to talk to the media after his wife’s funeral.

“I will be ready for the interview after the funeral. I will even tell you the funeral date,” he said.

“We are still discussing the burial date as the family.”

In the aftermath of the incident some people have posted the picture of Mabote and Mahlelehlele on social media.

Staff Reporter

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