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Selective amnesia and the rule of law

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Opposition Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) threatened to pull out of the on-going national reforms programme if its leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing is brought before the justice system to be tried in a protracted multi-faceted case highlighted at high treason and murder for the August 30, 2014 events.

A warrant of arrest was this week issued against Metsing for his failure to appear before court to be formally read charges against him.

Metsing who was supposed to be merged in the high treason and murder case which has ten counts, went awol on the court, his lawyer Advocate Motiea Teele KC and members of his party when he was nowhere-to-be-found on Monday, leaving Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane who is presiding over the case to issue out a warrant for his of arrest as a natural course.

Metsing is charged alongside the Minister of Development Planning Selibe Mochoboroane, former army commander Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli who will be spending his fifth Christmas languishing in jail since September 2017, Private Litekanyo Nyakane, Motloheloa Ntsane, Leutsoa Motsieloa, the six are accused for a failed coup d’état against the then government of Lesotho led by Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane in August 30, 2021.

The irate and fuming LCD members flocked at the LCD premises addressed by the deputy leader of the party TÅ¡eliso Mokhosi who stated that they stand by a treaty inked between the opposition and Southern African Development Community (SADC) that Metsing and other political figures be spared until the reforms processes is completed.

Mokhosi revealed in a press conference that they trekked to South Africa and sought SADC and Dikgang Moseneke’s intervention in the matter. He said Metsing is safe but could not reveal where he is.

He mentioned that LCD members have withdrawn from the National Reforms process, influencing many other political parties which he refused to mention, that they must join them to pull out of the ongoing reforms process.

“We took measures to talk to SADC, South African High Commission, civil society organisations, Deputy Prime Minister, Prime Minister and other relevant stakeholders, without despair that all the parties will help us.

“The reforms are still ongoing and the courts had to be reformed so that he can be charged on transformed courts.

“We made a decision to withdraw from the reforms; either Lesotho Reforms Authority (NRA) or parliament of Lesotho, LCD will not take part in those. This is because it is not possible for one to continue participating in the reforms process while attending the cases or even arrest because an inmate does not negotiate,” Mokhosi said.

He said they did not write to the Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu whom they called through a telephone call but he did not pick the call.

Failure to communicate with Mokhothu, he said Metsing called the Prime Minister who promised for a meet up but failed to meet due to his busy schedule but eventually met last Thursday.  

Asked where Metsing was and the reasons why he did not avail himself before court, Mokhosi replied that… “I cannot reveal where he is but he is safe. In regard to his failure to appear before court we don’t know the reason because we knew that he was going to appear before court and we are surprised,” he said.   

What is interesting is fact that as opposition party, or government in waiting, the LCD will be looking to be voted into power in next year’s National Assembly General Elections to uphold the provisions of the Constitution, which include adhering to the asks of the rule of law.

That in spite of being seen acting how they are now when their leader is to have his day in court, where no one is yet calling him guilty. Selective amnesia at play? Selah!!!

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