The leader of Basotho National Party (BNP) Machesetsa Mofomobe says he helped to ensure that the contract of the director general of the National Security Service (NSS), Pheello Ralenkoane, is renewed, but now wants him fired.
Mofomobe told the press at the BNP headquarters in Maseru on Wednesday that he played a pivotal role to have Ralekoaneâ€™s contract renewed during the administration of the former prime minister, Dr Moeketsi Majoro, in 2021.
Mofomobe was the Minister of Small Business Development, Cooperatives, and Marketing. He now regrets helping Ralenkoane whom he accuses of incompetence.
â€œNSS is weak and on its knees because of incompetent people like Ralenkoane. He is killing that institution,â€ he said.
This comes after Mofomobe and Democratic Congress (DC)â€™s Moeketsi Shale won a constitutional case where they challenged the constitutionality of the law which gave the NSS power to seize the mobile phones.
The verdict was delivered on Tuesday this week by Chief Justice Sakoane Sakonae.
NSS was granted a warrant to seize Mohomobe and Shaleâ€™s phones by the office of the prime minister last month on the suspicion that they were involved in the murder of a local radio presenter Ralikonelo ‘Leqhashasha’ Joki, among other allegations.
â€œSection 26 (2) of the National Security Service Act No. 11 of 1998 is unconstitutional. The warrant to search and seize the applicantâ€™s cellphones and or those in his possession violates his right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary seizure of property and is hereby declared unconstitutional,â€ Sakoane said on Tuesday.
â€œThe Director General of the National Security Service is directed to return forthwith the applicantâ€™s phones (Shale), and to delete all information copied from the cellphones,â€ he added.
Mofomobe told the press on Wednesday that he believes Ralenkoane knows the real culprits in the murder of Joki and that his acts were intended to mislead the police.
â€œHe used to send NSS officers to me to give them information and I would give them that information, but today he comes back to bite me,â€ he said angrily.
â€œI want to believe that there is something that Ralenkoane knows about the murder of Ralenkoane and he is trying to mislead the police officersâ€™ investigations
â€œThe leader of DC was very sceptical because he (Ralenkoane) fired Congress comrades who were employed at NSS. I went to him (Mokhothu) and Dr Majoro and I told them to honour the promise they made,â€ he said explain how he ensured Ralenkoaneâ€™s contract was extended.
â€œAt that time Professor Mahao was also on my side. I called Ralenkoane to Masowe at my friendâ€™s house, we were roasting goat meat while drinking 5liter Oros. He ate our meat and drank our Oros because he is the one who drank more than the rest of us.
â€œI showed him the contract even before it was signed by the Prime Minister and he was a happy man. Meaning I gave him that job hoping that he was a capable person,â€ he added.
He continued that â€œHe was drinking Oros like he was very thirsty, little did I know he was plotting me.
â€œAt that time I gave him benefit of the doubt that he had performed well, not knowing that at that time he had suppressed his stupidity and it is now coming to light,â€ he said.
â€œBut I know they are going to fire him, I have received that intelligence. He is going,â€ he said.
Mofomobe stated that he and Shale have both written a letter of demand to the government where they demand M5million for defamation.
The same sentiments were shared by the former Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of DC, Mathibeli Mokhothu.
â€œBefore the end of this week the lawyers of the two (Mofomobe and Shale) are going to file a case at the courts of law,â€ he said.
He said the members of RFP; Nanabetsane Ramokoena and Member of Parliament for Thaba-Bosiu constituency leaked audio clips, explicitly explaining that the death of Joki should be blamed on BNP and congress.
â€œThe unfortunate thing is that the leadership of RFP did not come forth to rubbish such allegations by their members.
â€œThis bags a question whether the leadership of RFP shares the same sentiments as their comrades,â€ he said.