Thabane fumes

Thabane fumes

MASERU-THE All Basotho Convention (ABC) has been thrown into a new crisis, with leader and former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane threatening to walk away.

Thabane is furious that the national executive committee is yet to reprimand Agriculture Minister Tefo Mapesela for his blistering attack on him and his wife.

“The voice note was done over the weekend but it is now Tuesday without an apology from the Prime Minister as he is his minister,” Thabane said in an interview with a local radio station.
“I take it that he is just a messenger sent by his superiors, therefore very soon I will take my luggage and leave them in their party.”

Days earlier, Mapesela, who was once the ABC’s spokesman, had called on Thabane and his wife ’Maesaiah to leave the party. He was reacting to Maesaiah’s criticism of the new coalition government.
’Maesaiah had also criticised Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro for celebrating August as women’s month, saying “there is no day marked for women in the calendar”.

In response Mapesela took ’Maesaiah to the cleaners, calling her an ignorant woman talking about issues beyond her comprehension.
He said it is “understandable that ’Maesaiah does not know the day of the African woman because “she is a village woman”.
He said ’Maesaiah should let the current First Lady ’Masekoala Majoro, who was in the company of her husband at the Women’s Month event, to do her job.

“Ask her if she has cleansed herself of prison lice,” Mapesela quipped, referring to ’Maesaiah’s stint in holding cells.
“What did she do when she was still in power? All you did was to drag principal secretaries to the streets to insult them.”
Thabane did not take the insults to his wife lightly and has hinted that he might leave the party if Mapesela is not disciplined.

The party appears to be taking Thabane’s complaints seriously and is planning to discipline Mapesela.
ABC secretary general Lebohang Hlaele, who is also Thabane’s son-in-law, told thepost that the party will soon take disciplinary action against Mapesela.

Hlaele said the ABC views Mapesela’s remarks as “unacceptable and barbaric”.
He said Mapesela did not set a good example as a leader.
“We will not allow such behaviour regardless of who does it,” Hlaele said.
“The ABC does not associate with such comments therefore we will soon sit down as a committee to seek solutions.”
He said Thabane is “the face of the ABC and therefore deserves respect as a grandfather and leader”.

“We are embarrassed on behalf of our party and therefore we ask for forgiveness as there is no village without a lunatic,” he said.
“We have to take disciplinary action against him,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hlaele said the ABC has suspended deputy spokesman Chalane Phori from the party from last Wednesday until mid-October.
Phori, Thabane’s staunch loyalist, had on several occasions criticised the ABC committee saying it failed to protect leader Thabane. Hlaele said the party’s committee found Phori’s voice clips “unpalatable”.

“We were told that Phori asked for forgiveness but the committee could not forgive him just like that,” Hlaele said.
He said Phori will never talk about the ABC on radios or anywhere else until after October 12.

“We expect him to behave well,” he said.
Phori told thepost yesterday that he accepts the verdict “but that should be done to everybody, not only me”.
Hlaele said the committee initially planned to suspend Phori for half a year but reduced it to three months after he showed contrition.

Nkheli Liphoto

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