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Our fights are normal, says MP



AS a member of a large political “family,” Lethole Lethole had always expected that there would be individuals who would hold different views on key matters within his Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party.
At no point did he expect everyone within the party to think alike.


“In my family, we are just four family members and we always quarrel over some issues,” he says.

That is equally true for the RFP, Lethole told thepost this week.

Lethole spoke as the RFP is grappling with some serious infighting that saw three MPs suspended two weeks ago after they voted against the party in parliament.


Dr Mahali Phamotse, Jacob Makhalanyane and Rethabile Letlailane were slapped with six-year suspensions for challenging the party’s national executive committee.

This was the first real turbulence to affect the RFP, a party formed by businessman Samuel Matekane last year.

Lethole says what is happening within the RFP are “normal quarrels” that happen in every family.

“We could argue with my wife why she bought a certain pair of trousers for the child,” Lethole says.


But soon, he says, such misunderstandings are solved.
He believes that whatever is happening to the RFP are “normal family feuds” that will soon be resolved.


What has worsened the crisis is the fact that the RFP is a “big family” of 57 MPs and also has two other coalition partners to deal with.
That mixture is bound to bring all sorts of characters with differing viewpoints, he says.


“I strongly believe that these problems will be solved soon,” Lethole says.


Lethole says the biggest problem is that when the RFP won the elections in October last year, people were expecting immediate results on the ground.
And when the pace of the “revolution” did not match their expectations, they became a little bit disgruntled, he says.


“The people wanted things to happen speedily,” he says.


“Matekane should be given a chance to prove himself. It’s still too early to judge him,” he says.


Lethole’s vociferous defence of Matekane comes at a time when the opposition has already drawn its long knives against the premier arguing that he should step down immediately.
They have accused Matekane of failing to live up to his electoral promises, a charge Lethole says is premature.

Lethole, who is the party’s chief whip in parliament, says it is vital that all RFP MPs work as a team.


“We should work towards one common goal. No individualism,” Lethole says.


“I have to see to it that all the MPs pull along the same direction,” he says.


Being a Chief Whip is like being a captain, he says.


“MPs from one party should accept whatever comes as a solid body,” Lethole says.


“We have to speak with one voice,” he says.


“This is not the time to work for fancy cars but to work for this country.”


Lethole says they hold caucuses where they mobilise all MPs to speak with one voice while in Parliament.


“I hope this storm will finally be over,” he says.


As a qualified civil engineer, Lethole says he wants to “work to enact sound laws that could put this country on a path to development”.


“I only want to help change the lives of Basotho,” Lethole says.


He says as an MP he is perfectly aware of the abject poverty that most Basotho have to deal with every day.
He says it is unfortunate that instead of coming up with policies to fight poverty, “some people want to fight”.

Lethole says he wants to see Lesotho grow its own crops to feed itself.


“We have to put in place sound mechanisms to change this economy,” he says.


He says when Matekane formed the RFP, he had one key mission in mind: to promote prosperity and reduce extreme poverty.
He says many Basotho are still trapped in abject poverty.


“It is an undeniable fact that Basotho are suffering,” Lethole says.


He says he joined politics under the RFP because professionals and entrepreneurs were on the frontline and he thought he could also contribute to the development of Lesotho.


“I saw that I could fit in,” he says. “I could see that Matekane could extricate this country from the bondage of poverty.”


He says there is no way he could ditch Matekane, vowing to back the Prime Minister if push comes to shove.


“He is still moving in line with our party’s manifesto,” Lethole says.


Lethole says he believes the only people who can take Lesotho out of the mud are professionals and entrepreneurs, and Matekane fits the bill.
He however admits that the RFP is a fairly new entity on the political scene and will make mistakes along the way as it looks for a proper footing.

The party is still in its infancy and all that has happened recently “has allowed us to know each properly”.


As a new MP, Matekane believes the key to developing Lesotho lies in tweaking the country’s education system. He wants to see technology playing a key role in Lesotho’s education system.
He says schools must have access to Wi-Fi to improve educational outcomes.


He says the current education system does not address the current problems that the country is facing.
He says Basotho children are graduating from universities in large numbers and hunt for jobs that they unfortunately do not get.


“We have to copy what some developed countries are doing in their education system,” Lethole says.


He says children should be trained to create jobs not to hunt for jobs.

He also wants to see Lesotho fully benefit from its abundant water resources.


“Lesotho is blessed with a plethora of water sources that should benefit this country,” he says.


He says some countries are in dire need of water and Lesotho should take advantage of this opportunity.

Lethole says Lesotho is also blessed with majestic mountains that have clean air that could be used to generate electricity.


“We have to make use of these natural resources for the betterment of this country,” he says.


Growing up, Lethole says he was never fond of politics. He says he only fell in love with politics after Matakane announced that he was forming the RFP.


Lethole was born 53 years ago in Ha-Tšitso on the Berea plateau. He studied for a diploma in civil engineering with Lerotholi Polytechnic before furthering his studies in the built environment in the United Kingdom.
He later worked in the Ministry of Natural Resources, drilling boreholes for rural communities.


Majara Molupe

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Doctor tampers with corpse



THE Mokhotlong Government Hospital has agreed to pay M200 000 as compensation to the husband of a deceased patient after a doctor unlawfully tampered with the corpse.

There is a deed of settlement between the hospital and Jacob Palime, the deceased woman’s husband.

Jacob Palime rushed to the High Court in Tšifa-li-Mali last year after the hospital failed to explain why the doctor had tampered with his wife’s corpse at a private mortuary behind his back.

His wife’s body had been taken to the Lesotho Funeral Services.
Palime lives in Phahameng in Mokhotlong.

In his court papers, Palime was demanding M500 000 in compensation from the hospital “for unlawful invasion, intrusion and interference with” his rituals and rights over his dead wife.

He informed the court that his wife died in September 2020 at Mokhotlong Hospital.

“All requisite documentation pertaining to her release to Lesotho Funeral Services were effected and ultimately the deceased was accordingly transferred to the mortuary,” Palime said.

The court heard that Palime’s family was subsequently informed about the wife’s death.

The family however learnt that one doctor, acting in his professional capacity, went to the mortuary the next day and tampered with the corpse.

The doctor subsequently conducted certain tests on the corpse without the knowledge of family members.

Palime said their attempts to get an explanation from the hospital as to the purpose of the tests and the name of the doctor had failed to yield results.

“It remained questionable and therefore incomprehensible as to what actually was the purpose or rationale behind conducting such anonymous and secret tests,” he said.

Palime told the court that the whole thing left him “in an unsettled state of mind for a long time”.

He said his family, which has its traditions and culture rooted in the respect for their departed loved ones, regards and considers Mokhotlong Hospital’s conduct as an unlawful invasion, intrusion and interference with his rituals and rights over his deceased spouse.

“This is more-so because the hospital had all the opportunity to have conducted any or such alleged tests immediately upon demise of the deceased while still within its area of jurisdiction and not after her release to the mortuary,” he said.

Palime said despite incessant demands, the hospital has failed, refused, ignored and neglected to cooperate with him “to amicably solve this unwarranted state of affairs”.

Palime told the court that there were no claims against the Lesotho Funeral Service as they had cooperated and compensated him for wrongly allowing the doctor to perform tests on the corpse without knowledge or presence of one of the family members.

’Malimpho Majoro

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Villagers whipped as police seize guns



Dozens of villagers in Ha-Rammeleke in Khubelu, Mokhotlong, were on Monday night rounded up and beaten with sticks and whips by the police during an operation to seize illegal guns.

The villagers told thepost that they heard one man crying out for help saying his wife was sick. And when they rushed to his house, they found the police waiting for them.

The police had stormed the man’s house and ordered him to “cry for help” to lure men from the village.

The men and women were then frog-marched outside the village where the police assaulted the men with sticks, whips, and kicked them.

One man said when he arrived at the house, he found other villagers who were now surrounded by armed police.

“At first I thought they were soldiers but later picked up that they were SOU (Special Operations Unit) members,” he said.

He said they were subjected to severe torture.

“They beat us with sticks at the same time demanding guns from us,” he said.

The police and soldiers also raided other nearby villages in Khubelu area but in Ha-Rammeleke villagers say they identified only police from the Special Operations Unit (SOU).

Several villagers who spoke to thepost asked for anonymity for fear of retribution.

This was the second time within a month that the security forces have raided the villages in search of illegal guns after a spate of gory murders in the areas.

The murders are perpetrated by famo music gangs who are fighting over illegal gold mining in South Africa.

The first raid was on Wednesday preceding Good Friday.

Villagers say a group of armed soldiers stormed the place in the wee hours collecting almost every one to the chief’s place.

“We were woken-up by young soldiers who drove us to the chief’s place,” one resident of Ha-Rammeleke said.

When they arrived at the chief’s home all hell broke loose.

A woman told thepost that they were split into two groups of women and men.

Later, women were further split into two groups of the elderly and younger ones.

She said the security officers assaulted the men while ordering the elderly women to ululate.

Young women were ordered to run around the place like they were exercising.

She said the men were pushed into a small hut where they were subjected to further torture.

A man who was among the victims said the army said they should produce the guns and help them identify the illegal miners.

He said this happened after one man in their village was fatally shot by five unknown men in broad daylight.

He said the men who killed the fellow villager had their faces covered with balaclavas and they could not see who they were.


The villagers chased them but they could not get close to them because they were armed with guns.

“We were armed with stones while those men were armed with guns,” he said.

“They fired a volley of bullets at us and we retreated,” he said.

The murdered man was later collected by the police.

The army spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sakeng Lekola, confirmed that soldiers stormed Khubelu area in response to the rampant lawlessness of unlicensed guns.

Lt Col Lekola said their presence in the area followed two incidents of shootings where one man was fatally shot and a child sustained serious gunshot wounds.

“There were reports everywhere, even on the radios, that things were out of hand in Khubelu,” he said.

He said in just a day they managed to collect six guns that were in wrong hands together with more than 100 rounds (bullets) in an operation dubbed Deuteronomy 17.

These bullets included 23 rounds of Galil rifle.

Lt Col Lekola maintained that their operation was successful because they managed to collect guns from wrong hands.

He said they are doing this in line with the African Union principle of ‘silencing the guns’.

He said it is an undeniable fact that statistics of people killed with guns is disturbing.

“We appeal to these people to produce these unlicensed guns,” Lt Col Lekola said.

Lt Col Lekola said they could not just watch Basotho helplessly as they suffered.

He said some people are seen just flaunting their guns.

“They fear no one,” he said.

Police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Kabelo Halahala, said he was aware of the operation in Mokhotlong but did not have further details.

Majara Molupe

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Magistrate saves WILSA boss



A Maseru magistrate, Nthabiseng Moopisa, this week stayed the criminal prosecution of Advocate ’Mamosa Mohlabula who is accused of tax evasion, money laundering and corruption.

In her application Advocate Mohlabula, who is the director of Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA), said the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) should not charge her pending finalisation of her tax evasion case.

Advocate Mohlabula is out on bail after she was formally charged with tax evasion in July last year.

She told Magistrate Moopisa that the DPP, Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, was wrong to have agreed with the Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) to bring charges against her.

“In my viewpoint, the DCEO cannot be heard to charge me in relation to matters already seized with this Honourable Court,” she said in an affidavit.

She also said there is a pending civil case in the High Court in which the DCEO’s abuse of power is referenced, saying the precise way the case is handled will depend “on the way an alleged offence comes to the light”.

“Before that pending case is finalised, DCEO has no jurisdiction to detail me to court over isolated phenomenon of tax evasion and or over grievances of former employees of WILSA,” she said.

Advocate Mohlabula was charged together with the WILSA’s chief accounting officer.

She argued that it was WILSA that was being investigated, not individuals, further saying that was “a significant safeguard that the DCEO was impartial from an objective viewpoint”.

“To exclude any legitimate doubt in this respect the DCEO returned the items it seized from WILSA,” she said.

“This was a realistic and practical step towards administering justice and to avoid premature embarrassment to the management of WILSA.”

She said the Board of Trustees of WILSA were sent briefing notes which in certain respects reflected that the DCEO returned the properties of WILSA without warning them that they were suspects.

“In any event, we proceeded to fashion our arguments before the High Court. There was, and could be, no evidence to back up the decision of the DCEO to apply for the search warrant,” she said.

Advocate Mohlabula said before they took the matter to the High Court, she cooperated with the DCEO and it conducted an inquiry into the alleged crimes.

“Now that the matter is pending before the High Court, there is no more reason for the DCEO to remand me before the pending cases are finalised,” she said.

Staff Reporter

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