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Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

News KANANELO BOLOETSE

M

ASERU – Two top state off icials this week clashed over the controversial awarding of a M140 million tender for construction of new Senate chambers to a Chinese company which had been disqualified from the initial bidding process in 2012. Public Eye can report that M i n i s t ry o f P u b l i c Wo r k s a n d T ra n s p o r t p r i n c i p a l secretary Mothabathe Hlalele on Wednesday traded verbal salvos with Senate President ‘Mamonaheng Mokitimi over who, between the two, had a clear right to oversee construction of the building. The sabre rattling which has been kept under wraps until now exploded into the open this week when Hlalele took umbrage to a report that the Senate would not sanction work on the building to start. Hlalele f ired a blistering assault at ‘Mamonaheng and Clerk of the Senate Khotso M a n a m o l e l a fo r i nvo lv i n g themselves in issues that he felt were neither the business nor responsibility of the Senate. The Senate has allegedly refused to give the public works ministry permission to go-ahead with construction of the new Senate building after the ministry’s tender panel last year decided to re-evaluate

State officials trade verbal salvos over M140m tender bids and awarded the tender to a Chinese firm Qing Jian Group, a company which was initially disqualified in 2012. “What is senate’s interest in this matter. The ministry of public works is the only institution mandated to procure contractors for construction of government buildings. Their unwarranted interest in this matter needs to be investigated. “Who we contract to construct the new chambers is not the business of the Senate. They were even reprimanded by the Attorney G eneral (AG) for involving themselves into this matter. Procurement of contractors for government premises is the prerogative of the ministry of public works and transport,” Hlalele said. B u t ‘Mamonaheng yesterday hit back at Hlalele saying the Senate had eve ry t h i n g to do with the project a s

“it i s

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HELP US GET IT RIGHT Public Eye is committed to reporting news that is accurate, free from bias, and truthful at all times. We do our best to research and cross-check our stories. But mistakes do happen. If, as the reader, you spot any mistakes, please point them out to us so that we can correct them.

going to be financed from Senate’s capital budget”. She said: “The fact that the ministry of public works is mandated to procure contractors on our behalf does not mean Senate no longer owns the project. The Clerk of Senate is going to be held accountable for all the money that will be used on the project.” She indicated the Senate was advised by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) to withhold funds for the project until the investigation into the matter was complete. “His rants will not help us with anything. We should be working to find a solution to this matter,” she said. The awarding of the tender to Qing Jian Group is now the subject of a DCEO investigation. The DCEO suspects the process which culminated in the awarding of the contract was flawed. The investigation has derailed the project and further delayed the construction of the Senate which is already behind schedule by over five years and has also been hit by gross inflation. The probe has also had Hlalele going down the rabbit hole as he has been accused of meddling in the M140 million tender. The PS was also caught up in the irregular awarding of a M900 million road construction tender to China Geo which was cancelled after Public Eye exposed the scandal. He, however, told Public Eye this week that he was keenly waiting for the watchdog to complete its investigations and lay charges if it found prima facie evidence that indeed there was meddling, but above all else, “so that construction of the Senate can begin in earnest”. He thinks the investigation will exonerate him. “I do not want to talk about this issue anymore because it is now the subject of a DCEO

investigation. I am waiting for them to finish their investigation. “ I a m , h owe ve r, awa re that there are people who are determined to maliciously drag my name through the mud. They make baseless allegations without substantiating them. They should be taken to task for making baseless allegations. What is their interest in this matter!” he said. Qing Jian, together with China Shanxi Construction and Sigma Construction were initially disqualified in 2012 because “they did not meet certain tender specifications.” In his capacity as PS, Hlalele was part of the tender panel that awarded the tender to Qing Jian Group. The decision seems controversial because it a l s o b l a ta n t ly i g n o re d t h e recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that selection for the award of the tender should be limited to three qualified bidders that had already been identified. The recommendation was contained in the 2014 PAC report titled: Report of the Public Accounts Committee on its investigation on the construction of the Senate building which was never published. The first three contractors which were deemed eligible for

the award of the contract were Yan Jian company, Flash Construction and N.M Khojane Construction. “The primary motive here is to try and move the project forward without any further delay,” read the PAC report which was compiled in 2014. “All that is needed is to undertake debriefing and then enter into negotiations with these three companies on the issue of escalation of costs. “Any attempts to go back to the full tender process will deal a great blow to this project which has already suffered an unacceptable delay,” the report further read. The High Court ruled in 2016 in a matter brought before it by Flash Construction (PTY) LTD that “clearly even the court cannot be asked to work on the basis of a report that was withdrawn and was never made available in the public sphere. It was never published”. The ministry refused to be bound by the recommendations, “since the National Assembly withdrew the report”. The report had also recommended that “principal secretaries should not be members of tender panels in their own ministries”. Continues on page 6


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Friday May 11, 2018 3

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Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

News BONGIWE ZIHLANGU

M

I told you so: Mojapela

ASERU - Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) party leader Teboho Mojapela feels vindicated by ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) Chairperson Motlohi Maliehe’s public denunciation of Prime Minister Thomas but I’m also a man who lives up to Thabane’s wife, ’Maesaea, saying his promises. And in return, God the outburst was “only solidifying has also kept each of the promises what I have always said”. he made to me. It’s not by mistake Maliehe brewed a political but by God’s design that my life is s t o r m t h i s we e k a f t e r h e the way it is.” accused ’Maesaea of butting Addressing an ABC rally in into government and party Butha-Buthe last Sunday Maliehe business, intimidating ministers attacked Thabane’s wife, because and badgering them to hand her of her “interventionist style” on lucrative government jobs. issues of government, further Speaking to Public Eye this alleging she intimidated cabinet week, a jovial Mojapela took ministers, referring to former credit for Maliehe’s explosive Minister of Health Nyapane Kaya, tantrum, saying the ageing whom he said was first threatened leader was “merely echoing my with expulsion by the First Lady sentiments”, adding “this is the “just two weeks after he was sworn end of the ABC”. in as minister”. Maliehe, who is Minister In a video clip circulating of Tourism, Environment and on social media, Maliehe says Culture and the party’s National he wanted to “today share with Executive Committee (NEC) you people of Mechachane and chairperson, is a founding Botha-Bothe”, how Kaya lost his member of the party who has been cabinet post. its Butha-Buthe constituency MP “Before he was fired, the since its formation is 2006. PM had declared on numerous Mojapela, a former ABC platforms that he would rid his member and financial backer, cabinet of thieves. When Kaya said as far as he was concerned was only two weeks in cabinet, Maliehe’s sometimes profane he was summoned by Liabiloe diatribe was an indication that who told him that his days as God had turned his back on the a minister were numbered,” ruling party and answered his own Maliehe alleged. prayers, after he was insulted and Although Thabane has never victimised, when he left the party publicly justified firing both Kaya to form his own SR in late 2017. and the former Public Works “The outburst coming from and Transport Minister Maliehe vindicates me as all Lehlohonolo Moramotse, the accusations he hurled at Maliehe alleged that he Ntate Thabane and his wife have validated what I have always said.” Maliehe echoed all my sentiments from A-Z, from the moment I decided to launch a war on corruption. As a socialist, my belief has always been because the truth is resilient, it will always prevail over lies. “I told ABC supporters a long time ago to take the bull by the horns. I do feel vindicated because it’s now clear that what I have been preaching all along has not fallen on deaf ears, that it’s time to shake off the lice sullying the blanket that is the ABC.” According to Mojapela, God was punishing Thabane who he described as ungrateful “despite me being there for the ABC through difficult times”. “I was with them throughout very trying times but they treated me like a rag. That’s when I noticed their weaknesses and knew that they were bound to fail. And I am proud that I maintained my stance since leaving them because I knew it was just a matter of time before they paid for their sins,” Mojapela submitted. “It’s all God’s doing, heavens working in my favo u r. Not only am I SR party leader Teboho Mojapela a child of God,

SR party leader says Maliehe’s outburst vindicates him

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, right, and wife, ’Maesaea

(Kaya) was fired for refusing to award tenders through the ministry of health “to clean and feed at hospitals”, to ’Maesaea. “When Kaya refused to award tenders to clean hospitals and feed patients to my leader’s wife (‘Maesaea) he was fired. Kaya, who worked harder than any other minister in cabinet, was fired,” Maliehe alleged. “ T h e p l a n s h e h a d fo r that ministry are now being implemented by his successor (Nkaku Kabi) who, unfortunately, is failing dismally in executing his mandate. Kaya was only fired because he abhorred corruption, because he was not a thug. Because he refused to subject himself to being controlled by Liabiloe,” Maliehe alleged. Maliehe also referred the disgruntled ABC supporters who have in recent weeks f looded social media platforms and radio stations to complain about ‘Maesaea’s meddling in government and calling the premier to rein her in, saying he had foreseen things getting out of hand. Maliehe said the latest public denunciation of Thabane and his spouse by disgruntled ABC members “has been a long time coming” and that he had been motivated by the supporters saying, “you can’t treat people like animals”. “There are so many intelligent people in the ABC, who are more brilliant than I will ever be. I was only elected from amongst you. If I can’t create a platform through which you can communicate with me and show me when I err, what am I expecting to happen? For you to burst at some point.” The minister further alleged that Thabane was now “holding clandestine meetings” at the State House with some of his (Maliehe’s) peers “which I’m never invited to attend”. “These days Ntate Thabane’s

cabinet hold clandestine meetings at the State House, to which I have never been invited. But I don’t care what people think. Decisions are made in those meetings, leading to people getting angry when they hear about them. Hence, they will run to the media to vent their frustrations out about rampant corruption,” Maliehe further alleged. Maliehe urged ‘Maesaea to refrain from meddling in politics and declaring that she would discipline idle ministers. “What’s Liabiloe? Who is she to reprimand ministers? Who are ministers accountable to?” Maliehe quipped. Meanwhile, Mojapela said he was rejoicing in the turmoil haunting the ABC because when he left the party he was labelled “bitter and opportunistic”. But Mojapela said he left the ABC due to “rampant corruption and utter disrespect of voters by Thabane’s government”. “I pushed the ABC’s political agenda to oust former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government, which had failed to deliver on its promises. Once that had happened, I returned to my other businesses because I never even for once expected to be rewarded in one way or the other,” Mojapela said. The SR leader added that time was now opportune for him to reach out to disgruntled ABC supporters “especially those who hear my message” to understand that it was time for a revolution. “We are waging a revolution now against the ABC, with plans to do so with congress parties as our next targets. These people in government need to learn that no one has the liberty to govern this country however they want. “ T h o s e w h o h ave b e e n insulting me are free to continue. Who am I not to be insulted, when even Jesus the Son of God

had obscenities hurled at him?” Mojapela quipped. “My life’s mission is to fight for a Lesotho that adheres to the rule of law, is governable, respectable and plain beautiful. And, Lesotho will be how we want it, come hell or high waters. Because mine is a faithful God, the spider’s web has been broken, all that is left is for the spider to fall to the ground.” Mojapela further alleged that Thabane’s government promised him business tenders when they assumed office in 2017 but he had turned them down because “I did not want to be contaminated”. “I told them that I wanted accountability and transparency from them, both of which are just some of the principles of good governance, instead of government tenders. I was clear that they should respect Basotho and guard against corruption. That was during the delivery of my eulogy at former First Lady Lipolelo Thabane’s funeral,” Mojapela said. Moreover, he claimed that the ABC was “finished, over and done with”. “I know that because the devil can be deceitful at times, people will continue to hold on out of fear. But I know that they will eventually see the light. “It would be remiss of me though, not to congratulate ABC supporters for standing their ground for once and saying enough is enough,” Mojapela said. “We need to thank God and those ABC members who feel they would rather die than allow Lesotho and ABC to go to the dogs. We want democracy in Lesotho, not mobocracy. We believe in meritocracy, where people who are in government are selected on merit. This country is not poor, it’s just that we have in power people who are corrupt.” A B C S e c re ta ry- G e n e ra l S a m o n ya n e N t s e ke l e t o l d this paper yesterday that the committee had convened an NEC meeting to discuss Maliehe’s conduct and that “he will also be given the opportunity to give his side of the story”. “We have called an NEC meeting today (yesterday). He has been asked to come and explain himself. And it must be clear that we are not fighting or accusing anyone here,” Ntsekele said. Asked when an NEC resolution on the ABC chairperson’s conduct would be announced, Ntsekele said Maliehe was like all members of the party and as such “his case will follow due process”. “We cannot put a time-frame to it. It has to follow all necessary processes and his constituency also must have a say before a resolution is reached,” Ntsekele said.


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 5

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Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

News

NUL broke KANANELO BOLOETSE

M

ASERU – The National University of Lesotho (NUL) is penniless and may be forced to lay off staff, suspend some academic programmes and admit fewer first-year students in a bid to cut costs, if there is no quick solution to the crisis. NUL Vice Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao told Public Eye yesterday that the university was struggling to make ends meet after a M22 million decrease in government subvention from M132 million in the 2008/2009 academic year to M110 million in the current academic year. “The university’s monthly wage is M19 million that translates to M228 million per year. It is way beyond what the university gets as subvention from government,” P ro f e s s o r Mahao said. He also

explained that the university’s budget “comes from the three main sources”; students’ fees, government subsidy and private sources. “ O ve r t h e l a st d e c a d e, government subsidy has decreased while the contribution from students’ fees is around M166 million,” he said. S t u d e n ts ’ fe e s p l u s t h e s u bve n t i o n i n t h e c u r re n t academic year totalled M276 million, only M38 million more than the wage bill. Due to the dire financial situation the university was, among others, not able to systematically benchmark the salaries of its employees against the rest of the sector in the region and ensured that its remuneration was at a competitive level in relation to other universities, he said. He added it was also not able to make substantial investments i n a c a d e m i c p rog ra m m e s , equipment, infrastructure and maintenance in order to sustain quality teaching, learning and research, which are the core mandates of the university. These, he noted, impacted n e ga t i v e l y o n t h e f u t u r e sustainability of the university and would eventually lead to a decline in quality and ability to attract highly qualified staff. W h i l e this was the situation, the NUL Vice Chancellor Professor Nqosa Mahao

Education Minister Professor Ntoi Rapapa university’s senate on Monday said it was “further shocked” that instead of responding to the crisis “subvention has been cut to M99 million” in the projected 2018/2019 financial year. “This cut is yet another indication of the devaluation of higher education in Lesotho,” read the senate’s statement released on Monday. As its statutory responsibility a s t h e p r i n c i pa l a ca d e m i c authority for academic work and quality of education the senate said, “it has come to the conclusion that the financial situation of the university has become untenable in the discharge of its mandate”. It stated that it considered the “deleterious impact and repercussions of the on-going and systematic crippling of the university financially and resolved

that this situation has become unacceptable, untenable and is tantamount to a deliberate neglect of higher education in the country”. The statement further read: “In this light, the senate resolved to suspend the following academic activities with effect from Tuesday, 8th May 2018 until the government of Lesotho shall have addressed comprehensively the financial stability of NUL: A l l on - go i n g Fi n al Examinations across the University and A l l o t h e r re m a i n i n g academic teaching activities “Senate hopes government of Lesotho will rectify the University’s debilitating financial situation to enable a speedy return to normalcy.” Government was not impressed

by the senate’s decision. Education Minister Professor Ntoi Rapapa criticised senate for suspending all academic activities, saying the verdict was “unfortunate as it interfered with students’ examinations”. Rapapa said the university had sufficient funds to sustain operations. He also said senate had consulted neither the university’s council nor government before making the decision. The university’s council – the governing body responsible for the superintendence of the university – is expected to meet today to deliberate on the matter. A m o n g m a ny o t h e r key challenges facing the university is the ongoing political destabilisation of the institution which is often used as a political a d v e n t u r e p l a yg r o u n d b y politicians and political parties.

State officials trade verbal salvos over M140m tender Continues from page 2 The committee acknowledged that, according to section 50(1) o f t h e p u b l i c p ro c u re m e n t regulations of 2007, tender panels are established by PSs. It, however, noted that “in the opinion of the committee” it was “not appropriate” for the PSs to appoint themselves. “It makes more sense and f i n e ss e fo r t h e a p p o i n t i n g authority to intervene only when there are problems in the procurement process, and not to be regular part of the proceedings in a body appointed by him/her,” the report read. It further recommended that “the accounting officer (Clerk) in senate should be kept fully abreast of all key processes of this project

going forward”. “One key observation of the committee is that the Senate has been kept much in the dark with regard to the developments relating to this project and big decisions with adverse effects were made without consulting the Senate,” the report read. It added: “Needless to say, it is Senate that has the biggest interest in this project. It doesn’t make sense that this institution was not consulted on a regular basis.” It also recommended that the “DCEO should be roped in to carry out an investigation with regard to the proceedings of this project so far”. It said it had reason to suspect that “the delays” and “inexplicable procrastinations,

and recriminations and counterrecriminations”, were “actually underpinned by sinister motives and interests” which border on corruption. “It is advisable to investigate these suspicions for what they are worth.” T h e i n i t i a l t e n d e r wa s published in July 2012. At some point in November 2013, the tender was cancelled and retendered in May 2014. This prompted Flash Construction to file an urgent application in the High Court arguing that the decision to cancel the tender and the decision to retender were irrational, unprocedural, and therefore unlawful and constituted an abuse of power. Flash Construction sought a

review. The ministry of public works argued that the need to cancel the initial tender was brought by the fact that the procurement unit had violated public procurement regulations of 2007. The matter was heard in November 2015 and judgement delivered in May 2016. “Notwithstanding the fact that respondents had on their own found that the whole tender process (in the first tender) was tainted, their general attitude leaves a lot to be desired, in that, clearly they had come to a decision that the applicant’s complaint did not need to be considered. Hence the decision to retender. This was a questionable call on their part,” Judge Lisebo Chaka-Makhooane said.

“It is for these reasons that I find as I hereby do that the application for review must succeed with costs,” the judge concluded. T h e PA C h a d a l s o recommended in their unpublished report that “if there is an increase in the presently recommended tender price”, such a price escalation should be fully recovered from the members of the tender panel who took the decision to go for retendering. The report read: “The opinion of the committee is that there was no need for retendering. Yet the delay (caused by retendering) is bound to get government into serious expenses. The committee feels strongly that such expenses should be fully recovered from these individuals”


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 7

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Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

News RELEBOHILE TSOAMOTSE

M

ASERU – The controversy swirling around a government plan to impeach Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara deepened yesterday when the Law Society weighed into the fiasco and called for restraint on both sides. The increasingly messy affair has attracted both local and international condemnation with government opponents labeling the move a disguised executive attempt to suborn the judiciary. Rights groups including the Southern African Chief Justices Forum (SACJF) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) have lined up to criticise government for its perceived assault on judicial independence in violation of the constitution and international standards. Such a scenario would be tantamount to plunging the country into a constitutional crisis as the executive would be stepping into the realm of the judiciary, a breach of the principle of separation of powers. This principle demands that each of the three arms of the state – the executive, the legislature and the judiciary – does not usurp the powers of another. Since romping to victory in last June’s snap poll, the Thomas Thabane-led coalition government has not hidden its disdain for Justice Majara, with its members chipping away at her reputation at every opportunity. The country’s most senior civil servant Government Secretary Moahloli Mphaka publicly clashed with Justice Majara, accusing her of blocking government’s chosen candidate for the Appeal Court Justice Kananelo Mosito’s path to the coveted office. Justice Majara has valiantly fought back vowing not to be gang pressed out of the job she landed during the first Thabane administration. The belligerents appeared to have called a truce a few weeks ago after Mphaka apologised publicly for attacking Justice Majara. But the waters were muddied further when the Minister of Ju st i c e, L eb o h a n g H l a e l e, cranked up pressure for Justice Majara to go. The Law Society, in a carefully worded statement, counselled “decorum, openness and fairness” during the impeachment process, a constitutional weapon available to the executive should it desire to remove a sitting judge. Impeachment offers the target of removal all legal safeguards to ensure their rights are not infringed. O pposition parties have been pulling their hair out in frustration, saying government had turned rogue and was willfully trampling upon the rule of law to consolidate its hegemony. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Law Society called on the government to approach the impeachment

Lawyers urge restraint in Majara impeachment

Chief Justice Nthomeng Majara

process concerning the Chief Justice with dignity and fairness. The society said the gove r n m e n t s h o u l d fo l l ow the tenets of the law and the constitution when dealing with the impeachment of Justice Majara in order to avoid repetition of a “mockery of the due process that was witnessed during the removal of Dr Mosito as president of Court of Appeal”. Newly-elected Law Society president, Advocate Tekane Ma qa ka c h a n e, sa i d i n t h e statement his organisation would continue to monitor developments and take the necessary measures in order to uphold values that underpin democracy. Justice Majara on Wednesday t h i s we e k f i l e d a n u rge n t application in the High Court to i n te rd i c t T h aba n e f ro m recommending her suspension from office. In the same application, the Chief Justice also petitioned the court to prohibit the Prime Minister from advising His Majesty King Letsie III to appoint a tribunal to recommend whether or not she should be impeached over misconduct allegations. Adv Maqakachane in the statement said the Law Society was also concerned that Justice Majara had continued to designate and appoint a judge in the case in which she is an applicant. “(The Law Society) …is deeply concerned by the turn of events according which, as the concerned party with interest in

the matter, the Honourable Chief Justice continued to designate and appoint a judge to deal with the matter in the preliminary stage, thus clothing the matter into (the) garb of conf lict of interest and impartiality.” The court case follows a show cause letter Justice Majara got from the Prime Minister a fortnight ago requesting her to demonstrate why she should not be removed from office on the allegations of misconduct. She is accused of allegedly failing to preside over cases for a period of two years, failing to resolve cases involving the former registrar as well as bringing the judiciary into disrepute by having a public spat with a minister. She was also accused of abuse of office by renting a house at a rate way above her stipulated allowances. Justice Majara ostensibly leased a house from a fellow judge for M27 000 a month. On May 2, she responded to the prime minister’s letter requesting further information to help her deal with the complaints raised in the letter. The information Justice Majara requested included the names of the judges the show cause letter claimed to have failed to attend their cases under her watch and the cases they failed to attend as well as the dates. S h e h a s a l s o re q u e ste d t h e s p e c i f i c d e ta i l s a b o u t international trips she is said to have undertaken while neglecting

her responsibility to attend cases in the High Court. Meanwhile, the SACJF has urged the authorities in Lesotho to ensure that the matter is handled in accordance with the principles of natural justice and due process. The forum has also encouraged authorities in Lesotho to ensure that the Chief Justice is accorded all her rights, including the right to be represented by a counsel of her choice. In a related matter, ICJ Africa director Arnold Tsunga said this week his organisation has been “concerned for a while about threats to judicial independence in Lesotho”. In a letter to Justice Peter S. Shivute, Chief Justice of Namibia, who is also the Chairperson of the SACF, Tsunga said a fact-finding mission dispatched to Lesotho would look into “matters critical to the rule of law and separation of powers such as independence of the judiciary and legal protection of human rights”. “A n a n a l y s i s o f t h e constitutional and legal framework on the selection, appointment and tenure of judges will surely be a component of this wider enquiry together with the actual practices to measure whether these conform to the international obligations of Lesotho per the international human rights instruments that it has signed and ratified.” He was hopeful the mission would help the authorities i n L e s o t h o b u i l d a st ro n g

and independent judiciary in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which protects the right to a fair hearing and guarantees the independence of the courts. “ We a r e a l s o m i n d f u l that that the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both guarantee the right to equality for all before the courts and require that in the determination of rights and obligations and of any criminal charge, everyone shall be entitled, without undue delay, to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. “We therefore hope that any intervention that is taken in Lesotho will strengthen rather than weaken the rule of law in an already fragile environment,” said Tsunga ahead of the ICJ mission’s trip to Maseru. Meanwhile, some Basotho lawyers last night accused the SACF of selectivity and duplicity in the way it handles matters concerning the judiciary in Lesotho. A lawyer who asked for anonymity last night told Public Eye the SACF appeared to favour Justice Majara ostensibly because “she is friends with Justice Shivute”. “Some accusations have been labeled against the SACF from the legal fraternity as there appears to be lack of consistency in the way it approaches judicial matters in Lesotho,” he said. The lawyers appear miffed that the SACF has not in the past jumped to the defence of judges jettisoned from their jobs but scrambled to Justice Majara’s defence when her recent troubles started. They cited the dismissal of former Appeal Court president Justice Michael Ramodibedi and Justice Mosito as glaring incidents when the SACF watched from the sidelines. “When other judges including Justice Ramodibedi were removed, the SACF did nothing, not even issue a statement condemning the judges’ dismissals.” The SACF seemed preoccupied with the Justice Majara issue but had remained mum on broader “administration of justice and functionality issues”. The ICJ mission has since arriving in Lesotho this week met stakeholders in the justice system, civil society, diplomats, the Law Society and government officials. The mission was checking up on recommends it made to the Lesotho government which, inter alia, included a constitutional amendment making the Chief Justice head of all courts and reviewing procedures governing the appointment and removal of judges and the Chief Justice. Sources close to the mission said it had steered clear of all conflicts of individuals to avoid being sucked into the arena and losing its independence. The mission is expected to complete its task this weekend.


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 9

News

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Friday May 11, 2018

News Analysis News

ABC leader Prime minister Thomas Thabane

ABC Thetsane MP Dr Moeketsi Majoro

Majoro causes PM sleepless nights KANANELO BOLOETSE

M

ASERU – Prime Minister Thomas T h a b a n e ’s t h re a t to f ire Finance Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro has left him in a conundrum, analysts said this week. If he follows through with his threat and swings the axe at Majoro, he risks igniting a fullblown revolt that could threaten his stranglehold on power but if he does not, he would appear weak and attract even more brickbats from his detractors. The political analysts told Public Eye this week that the revolt will not only be by staunch Majoro supporters in the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) but also by moderate members of the ABC who are deeply concerned with the direction the party was taking. Some party bigwigs, including the party’s chairperson Motlohi Maliehe, have voiced their displeasure with how Thabane has allegedly allowed his wife ‘Maesaiah Thabane to “conflate the bedroom and the state”. They argue that Thabane’s spouse is meddling in government processes, systems and functions because of her personal proximity to the Prime Minister. Thabane last week told the ABC parliamentary caucus that he wants Majoro out and asked the caucus to suggest a replacement. T h i s wa s c o n f i r m e d by the caucus’ chairperson Fako Moshoeshoe. Though National University o f L e s o t h o ( N U L) p o l i t i c s lecturer Dr Motlamelle Kapa and Elections Management Forum (EMF) Chief Executive

Dr Fako Likoti conceded that it was the Prime Minister’s constitutional prerogative to hire and fire ministers, they indicated that in exercising such responsibility, Thabane was bound to make his decisions based on logic and in the interests of the country. Kapa emphasised that the power to appoint and dismiss ministers was not completely unfettered. The two pundits expressed worry that Majoro’s dismissal from cabinet would not be in the interests of the nation but would only be about political manoeuvres and responding to Thabane’s political cronies as the stakes rise ahead of the ABC’s elective conference in 2019. Kapa and Likoti, however, differed on which repercussion between facing an internal revolt and being “reduced to a lame duck Prime Minister” was more palatable for Thabane. While Kapa said Thabane should not fire Majoro, Likoti said he should fire him immediately as not doing so will be tantamount to chickening out and will render him a lame duck premier. “He should f ire him immediately and be ready to appreciate the consequences of his action because he has already told the caucus that he wanted him out. If he hadn’t shared his idea with the caucus, then he would still have room to change his mind but now he doesn’t,” Likoti said. “If he doesn’t fire him, he will appear weak and will not control anyone thereafter. He will effectively lose control of the party and the government. He has to reassert his authority, but he must also ensure that

Dr Majoro’s strong fan-base doesn’t destabilise the party and government,” he added. Kapa, on the other hand, indicated that a wise man changes his mind in the face of new evidence, sometimes. “Of course he might appear weak if he eventually does not reshuffle cabinet fearing a backlash but it is not a strange thing for a Prime Minister to change his position. A wise man changes his mind,” Kapa said. Kapa indicated further that it was widely accepted that Majoro’s sacking would be followed by murmurs of disapproval as “it is obvious that many Members of Parliament (MPs) are not happy with the decision”. A m o re s eve re o u tc o m e would be a split in the ABC and a subsequent possibility of toppling Thabane through a vote of no confidence in parliament. He said: “They could either form their own party or defect to other parties. That will collapse the government and, as we know it, the Prime Minister will advise the King to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.” He also warned that Thabane could face a backlash from international partners who might possibly have no confidence in the new finance minister and may not support the reshuffle, a point which Likoti endorsed. He said: “We have heard that some members of the international community strongly warned the Prime Minister against sacking Dr Majoro. If he goes on and fires him, these international partners might hold back funds. It is a dilemma for Prime Minister.” Likoto said Thabane’s Catch 22 situation was analogous to a

niggling headache former British premier Margaret Thatcher suffered when she faced off with Lord Michael Heseltine leading to her downfall. T h a tc h e r wa s a B r i t i s h stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Following a Conservative victory in 1970, Lord Heseltine was promoted to government by the then Prime Minister, Edward Heath, as a junior minister in the department of transport. He rose through the ranks and was eventually promoted to the cabinet in 1979 in Thatcher’s government. He later resigned from cabinet following a bitter dispute with Thatcher over the Westland Affair and returned to the backbenches. I n 1 9 9 0, h e c h a l l e n ge d Thatcher for the leadership of the Tories. Thatcher polled 204 votes to Heseltine’s 152 – insufficient for an overall first ballot victory. Instead of going to a second ballot and be beaten fair and square by Heseltine, she quit to avoid such humiliation. Heseltine then went up against John Major but lost. T h a tc h e r wa s t h e re fo re eventually replaced by Major which paved the way for Heseltine back to cabinet. Under Major, Heseltine was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and first secretary of state, but did not seek the leadership when Major resigned in 1997. The ABC, whose ascendancy to government was met with a lot of fanfare and raised the hopes of long-suffering Basotho for an immediate jump in their fortunes,

is now at war with itself. Every week, reports and rumours of internal war tumble out of the party headquarters, further dispiriting a nation classified as one of the poorest in the world owing to lack of raw resources and a sickly industrial base. Thabane’s war with Majoro is one of many fires he is fighting ahead of next year’s crucial internal plebiscite and growing calls for him to map out a succession plan. Majoro has become the poster boy of a faction agitating for a leadership renewal although he has himself remained mum on his ambitions. The United States trained 5 7- y e a r - o l d a g r i c u l t u r a l e co n o m i st i s a Me m be r o f Parliament representing the Thetsane Constituency after serving as minister responsible for development planning in the first Thabane administration that collapsed in 2015. He spearheaded policies for structural transformation through integrating several cluster solutions and dialogues. Before joining the Government, he served as executive director at the International Monetary Fund representing 21 African countries on the Executive Board between 2008 and 2012. He also served as f iscal analyst and Principal Secretary responsible for public finance as well as teaching economics at the National University of L e s o t h o b e twe e n 1 9 9 1 a n d 2000. He also serves as consultant in the areas of business and economics under his company QE and has served as a director on many boards.


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 11

News


Leaders 14

Friday May 11, 2018

Public Eye

Feature Business News

Friday May 11, 2018

Public Eye

Wool and mohair trade bleeding the economy The latest revelations by the government on the dealings within the wool and mohair sector are definitely a hair-raiser and it is no wonder this has been one of the most secretly guarded trade secrets, exclusive for a few chosen public officials or the have-beens. With the state’s annual budget below M20 billion, for the country to have made losses of around M400 million in wool and mohair trade is very alarming and as Minister for Small Business Development has brought it up, the government has to get to the very bottom of this matter. Lesotho is at the cross-link of multiple losses in revenues, with the SACU receipts ever dwindling and local revenue mobilisation experiencing a series of missed targets, it is a huge frustration for the nation to learn of these reported losses, while some of the government mandatory services are pushed aside because of lack of funding. The question is how Lesotho will ever be able to recover the reported losses or diverted monies from the wool and mohair trade and reclaim the state taxes deducted over the years from the farmers when huge sums were never remitted to the country? While there are a number of signed instruments that could make it easy for the two countries to settle the reported discrepancies, it seems like both governments will be working on a somehow private deal between farmers who are citizens of Lesotho and wool brokers or agents who are legal personas registered in the Republic of South Africa. This would definitely mean application of the laws could clash here unless a broader moratorium could be signed to reach a speedy settlement. It should also be registered that Lesotho has not just lost in monetary terms but also in the rights of origin in registering of products exported to overseas markets, mainly Europe, where the bulk of the wool and mohair that leaves the South African ports is destined. What is also clear is that government and Basotho farmers need to strengthen their pull and be up to scratch if they are to play and receive fair treatment at international auctions of their produce. It is also high time that Basotho strived to maximize their gains in this sector by working hard towards the exportation of fully value-added products instead of now sending raw wool and mohair to the ports. As we look with eagerness to the proposed reforms that would also include economic reforms, the agriculture sector, whose main foreign exchange earner is the wool and mohair sector, needs to be revamped, cleaned thoroughly to rid it of corruption and embedded dirt in trade dealings and should be given the attention it really deserves. With Lesotho altitude and rangelands suitable for wool and mohair production, what else can Basotho, especially those in the mountains and foothills do, other than produce high quality produce to feed the hungry international markets and thereby create wealth for local and sustainable jobs for others? We hope and believe that the processes started by the Small Business Development Ministry will not just be another loud political blah-blah, but with the support from all other sectors and the oneness and focused development of this industry, become a true lifeblood in the economy of this country, as has always been claimed.

Does 4x4 need a witch-doctor to diagnose it fatal fate? When Lesotho adopted a new the economy or just social issues which may electoral model following the 1998 sometimes not appear to bear much weight. constitutional crisis and was warned Looking at the prevailing developments of possibilities of future formations of within the parties that form the current coalition governments, very little was coalition government, especially the main done to study the extent to which such coalition partner – the ABC, it might be easy formations could mean to the actual to pick some flu symptoms that might affect stability of the country. the whole government not in the so distant The rush by our politicians was for future, to its demise. the emerging benefits of inclusivity, Lesotho has a negatively rich history of Lawrence Keketso which meant even the smallest of the intra-party conflicts that has laid down the political parties would get the share of encrypted ugly print of scattered political the power stake. Even at the first signs formations within the country, which may not of weaknesses on the new model, politicians kept on even represent different views of political, ideological, trying to perfect their chances of staying in power by all religious or any sect polarization that could define the means and twisting and remodeling the new system to Basotho nation as a political being. suit their stay. It is clear that what has always been the problem of The reality of the flimsiness of the coalition our politics continues to weaken our systems because as formations did not take long to dawn on the nation as a nation we seem to look away when we are confronted the very first government of such formation, in 2012, by real problems and would rather choose to attend to grumbled in the first two years of its setting before what is not needed of our attention at all. collapsing. The infighting within the ABC, for example is not in The second coalition government formed thereafter any nature of a succession race, but rather the struggle in 2015 also fell into the same fate with a much shorter for power as to who would control the piper-payer. It is life-span and probably a much closer exposure of the the fight over who can hold the directing hand on how constitutional deficiencies in resolving our political the state resources are distributed, regardless of what crises in Lesotho. the people who actually gave the mandate have to say. We are now in the third coalition, which came into It does not need a prophet or any kind of scientific power after the June 2017 general elections and in less exposure to say what has to happen for the government than a year there are already symptoms that we could of the day to stay stable and have an assured be getting yet another viral infection that could lead sustainability. For all the four parties that form the to serious tearing in the fabric that holds together the current government, there is a need of internal cleansing formation of the current government. that will make room for open genuine talks amongst Like in medical science and other sciences of their own cadres, if the general population has to see application, political science teaches us that there is better service delivery and policy programmes that will birth, life and death of a political system and belief. Just benefit the whole nation. like in life, a new born baby is delivered on a birth bed, We have to recall that the coming of SADC and other thrives through the turbulences and currents of life and foreign players into Lesotho’s national affairs is nothing will end up on a death slab after sustaining the hardships new. We also have to remember that in all occasions and the good that life had to offer. there has always been the same prescription for Lesotho In this kind of scenario, it is very easy to spot the – DIALOGUE. Is it such a bitter medicine that we all different stages of life, whether positive and negative, fail to see the importance of getting the cure that will and it may not always be necessary to seek scientific last for us a lifetime. diagnoses to find out if there is anything wrong at a Unless the ABC as the leading partner in this particular stage, to bring about solutions. coalition and its peers find some sanity to address what In our field of the science of politics, the life and is at the root of the present sneezes and itching, the death of systems and beliefs are determined by current symptoms are clearly out there and unless they follow affairs and social projections and thus it is imperative the prescription as have been ordered, there can only for politicians to stay updated and well informed on the be one route with no alternative options – the DEATH daily social revelations – whether they touch on politics, SLAB!

Frank Talk


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 15

Leaders Business News

Africa and our taste for the miraculous S

From Man in the street

ome years ago I was in attendance at a Wellness Day function organised by the company I worked for. A certain medical institution had been contracted to come and lead proceedings as well as to offer services. In her presentation the nursing sister who was at the head of the delegation mentioned that our country, Lesotho, was ranked third highest in the world for HIV/ AIDS infections. Being the firm believer that I am in the adage that there is no smoke without fire, I raised up my hand in the meeting and asked why it was that we were that high up on the list. What I got was a very wishywashy reply and a clear sense that my enquiry was undesirable. It seemed that most people were happier talking about donors, figures and logistics. I, for my part, couldn’t see how we could expect to get the better of the scourge if we didn’t

confront the causes head on. I got the impression that people didn’t want to face the possible answers to my question. One of the possible answers could be that the cultural practice of shaving heads of family members when a relative has died was to blame – that people were not changing razor blades. Another answer could be that we were lagging behind on the education front and, as a result, when a next of kin has taken ill we consider it disloyal to handle that one using gloves. Still another reason might be that we were, as a people, more promiscuous than other nations. Naturally, that would have been a bitter pill to swallow. Or the cause might even have been a combination of a number of these factors. Whatever the cause might turn out to be, it would be of great benefit to us to be apprised of the same as it would enable us to face the facts and confront the problem. It is not only as it relates to our position on the HIV/ AIDS rankings that we Africans appear to shy away from taking responsibility and working our way out of problems. Another taboo among us is that we are the most afflicted

continent when it comes to superstitious malpractices. There is too much belief in miracles among us. We clearly rank very high in the world for animalistic homicides, albino killings and other miracle expecting atrocities. We get startled when these incidents happen but they are soon forgotten and we carry on with life as though nothing has happened. The question is: “Why are we plagued more than other continents with these brutal murders?” White societies, for example, have their own social ills, such as mass shootings of people by crazed individuals, divorce, gangsterism and others. However, all these problems are explicable. They do not involve invoking miracles to solve problems. It is us Africans who appear to be plagued with this problem of superstitious beliefs that lead to baby rape, grandmother rape, albino killings, ritual murders and other vices as I have indicated. In spite of these hazards, we are expecting foreigners to come and invest their monies in our countries. Are we not making things difficult for ourselves,

ignorance and even culture. It seems that we have to take stock of our education to ensure that people appreciate scientific principles and have confidence in these instead of being half-hearted towards them and maintaining their old, traditional beliefs. It is understandable that uneducated Africans would be mesmerised by potions claimed to yield miraculous results but not all Africans are uneducated and ignorant. It is up to enlightened Africans to work hard to lead their fellow citizens out of this miracle dabbling mentality. It is accepted practice that before any medicine can be authenticated it must first be subjected to scientific tests. Only then can it be advertised on public platforms. Advanced countries have bureaus of standards that ensure that products that are passed onto the populace are authentic and produce the results that they are claimed to produce. If gargantuan claims are allowed free rein, gullible people will believe them as well as the supernatural powers that they are claimed to have and who knows what they will do to empower themselves as they have been made to believe they can?

causing a situation of lack of employment and poverty? Will an investor come with his wife and children to make a second home where he might get hauled from his car and dragged into the bush to be mauled by a man turned into a beast? As the world advances rapidly in the f ields of science and technology, we in Africa seem to be sinking deeper and deeper into mysticism and the superstitious. We seem to be resorting to solutions that require little or no mental effort. In other words, solutions that don’t require study, knowledge or hard work: Kill your girlfriend or an albino and all your problems will melt away! Sprinkle holy water here and all things will be well with you. The fruitage of this miracle seeking mentality has been all the brutal killings and sexual abuses we have discussed above. Again, we Africans seem to be the ones afflicted by these disturbing trends where we seem to shy away from admitting that we have a problem and finding ways of eradicating it. We seem to be hampered by denialism. Law enforcement agencies alone will never be able to get the better of this situation because it deals with spiritism,

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16

Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

News Analysis News STAFF REPORTER

M

ASERU – The ruling All Basotho Convention ( A B C ) p a r ty r i s k s breaking up unless Prime Minister Thomas Thabane cobbles together a succession plan, encourages internal debate and reins in his wife ‘Maesaea whose shadow is looming large over the party, analysts have warned. Analysts told Public Eye this week ‘Maesaea’s meddling and lack of a discernible succession plan had created a racket in the party, a few months before it’s February 2019 elective conference. The ensuing uncertainty, coupled with Thabane’s advanced age, has whipped up tensions in the party whose rank-and-file membership has organised itself into identified factions. This, analysts add, could plunge the party into further chaos should Thabane “die or be forced to step down, due to illhealth emanating from old age”. The analysts said the 2017 appointment of deputy-leader and Minister of Public Works and Transport Prince Maliehe and his elevation to the ABC NEC at breakneck speed had caused further disquiet among the party base. The ABC constitution gives the executive committee the discretion to handpick individuals to fill vacant posts. Thabane formed the ABC in October 2006, as a breakaway party from the former ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD), due to what he called corrupt policies of former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s government. However, since returning to power last year the ABC has been dogged by infighting, as factions position themselves ahead of the elective conference. Those eyeing certain positions and who view Thabane as a liability have cranked up attacks on his wife ‘Maesaea, who is said to wield immense influence in both government and the NEC. The intense jostling for power has in recent weeks manifested itself in a faction that has coalesced around Minister of Finance Dr Moeketsi Majoro, who is viewed as the party’s new poster boy and a credible Thabane successor. While Majoro has distanced himself from this speculation, three weeks ago a fake letter circulated on social media alleging Thabane had resigned and appointed Majoro to succeed him. At the weekend, another letter emerged alleging Thabane had fired Majoro from cabinet. The contents of both letters were dismissed by government. The denials notwithstanding, the ructions splitting the party exploded into the open last Sunday when the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Motlohi Maliehe, who is also party Chairperson, publicly bemoaned the instability in the ABC at a rally in Butha-Buthe. Maliehe accused the premier

Thabane needs clear succession … as analysts advise premier to rein in meddlesome wife

All Basotho Convention leader Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and wife Maesaea during the prime minister’s inauguration last year

of allowing his wife ‘Maesaea to “control government”, adding that she does not have the mandate to interfere in government business “by virtue of being First Lady”. According to Maliehe, Thabane had allowed his wife to intimidate cabinet ministers by threatening them with dismissal. He alleged that former Minister of Health Nyapane Kaya was fired “because he refused to award cleaning tenders in hospitals to Ntate Thabane’s wife”. “Two weeks after Kaya was sworn in as minister last year, Liabiloe (‘Maesaea) called him to the State House and told him that his days in cabinet were numbered. When Kaya was fired, it was because he had refused to award the tender to clean hospitals, to Liabiloe,” Maliehe alleged. He berated ‘Maesaea for

imploring Thabane to give safe passage to exiled Basotho leaders and to grant them a blanket amnesty akin to South Africa and Angola’s post conf lict reconciliation processes. LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing and his deputy Ts’eliso Mokhosi are billeted in neighbouring South Africa. ‘Maesaea forestalled speculation that she was angling for political leadership, saying as Thabane’s wife “I already have status”. The murky politics of the ABC have contributed significantly to torpedoing talks about talks to prepare the way for the reforms chaperoned by the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) and the SADC. Also, a government decision to extradite Metsing to answer “corruption, fraud

and tax evasion” charges drove the coalition of opposition parties to pull out of the socalled peacebuilding talks, thus capsizing the reforms process. Independent political analyst Arthur Majara said if the party does not create a platform on which to debate the succession issue, it might plunge into intractable chaos “should anything happen to Ntate Thabane”. “I’m going to say something that’s going to possibly not sit well with many people. But then again, we have to face the reality that Ntate Tom is very old. He’s likely to die any time. Now, how does he feel about the chaos in the party, the mayhem that would be created, were he to die?”, Majara asked rhetorically. “Hence, a succession plan is very important in our political system, despite it not being a

culture we are used to. Another problem haunting the ABC is that because it was elected by an overwhelming majority, people had high hopes that that would translate into economic prosperity. Thabane is today facing a fate similar to what befell former PM Mosisili.” Majara said ABC would remain unstable “unless Thabane wakes up from his slumber and resists being manipulated by his wife” adding that “there will never be a clear successor to the ABC throne, unless it’s someone who’s endorsed by her”. “Even some members of the NEC are failing to call her to order because she has massive influence over them,” Majara asserts. The analyst suggested due to Thabane’s advanced years, he now relies heavily on the 41-yearold ‘Maesaea “thus giving her the monopoly to manipulate the situation in her favour”. “He relies on her heavily. Again, while Ntate Thabane is a naturally intelligent person, because of his deteriorating intellectual capacity due to age, he’s failing to call his wife to order. Hence, he cannot be trusted to lead the ABC, let alone govern,” Majara declares. “Therefore, the ABC has to make peace with the fact that for peace to prevail and to avoid a split which is likely to happen somewhere down the line, Thabane should hand over the baton to someone who is proLiabiloe. She commands massive influence in the ABC as Thabane’s wife. If the successor is someone


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 17

News Analysis News

plan to avert split like Majoro, then chances are very high that the ABC will split.” Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) Director Tsikoane Peshoane adds the current storm rocking the party “is clear indication that the time has come for the party to decide on Thabane’s successor”. “The letter circulating about Majoro succeeding Thabane is not the issue. It doesn’t matter whether it was Majoro’s camp that did it or any camp to test the pro-Majoro camp’s strength. The decision for ABC to identify Thabane’s successor is long overdue. “Even if it is Majoro’s camp, it’s not a sin because what used to happen in this country is that people were condemned when they expressed their aspiration to lead. It’s very unnecessary to condemn people who demonstrate the potential to lead. What I have a problem with, is people who continue to fight even when voters have rejected them.” The TRC boss said to ease tensions, the ABC should create a platform for debate on succession because it is clear that there is frustration in the party, which has been suppressed since former deputy-leader Tlali Khasu left to form his own party two years ago. He a d d s , Ma l i e h e ’s appointment had opened up simmering frustrations because of the manner in which he was appointed, arguing that “instead of going for elections the NEC imposed him on the membership”. “When the party is supposed to go to elections, you don’t appoint the deputy-leader. Instead, you give the party’s

membership the chance to elect a deputy leader of their choice. The manner in which he was appointed to the committee could be detrimental to him, especially in an organisation that doesn’t believe in handpicked leaders,” Peshoane claims. “I think the decision to handpick an individual to fill up a post when there are democratic processes that could be followed is completely unnecessary. Even if the constitution gives you exclusive rights as a leader, elections in a democratic society is the first principle. For a political post, for the position of leader, the basic requirement that you must satisfy is elections. “Such clauses i n o rga n i sa t i o n s ’ constitutions are draconian and should be removed. If a person doesn’t go through that particular process of elections, he will always experience problems pertaining to legitimacy. Instead of handpicking Maliehe, Thabane should have called a special conference to elect the deputy leader, pending the February 2019 elective conference.” Peshoane also applauded the electorate for being more assertive and refusing to be used to rubberstamp leaders’ decisions and actions, saying this was underlined by the recent walk-out on Thabane when he was addressing an ABC rally “because instead of addressing ABC supporters he started talking about his spouse”. “When people walk out on

you, it signals that there are serious problems in the party. The minute he started talking about his wife, ABC supporters walked out on him,” Peshoane alleges. “Those are just some of the signals that our people have moved from a place where they idolised leaders, where leaders could do no wrong.” ‘Maesaea’s growing stature in the ABC and government last year provoked sharp rebuke from two prominent political scientists who warned that Thabane’s wife, if not checked, would wreak havoc

not been confirmed but we know enough now to say that the bedroom coup is imminent,” Sejanamane wrote on his blog Lesothoanalysis. “After the agreement to form a coalition government was reached amongst the four political parties, there were strange appointments at ministerial and later in diplomatic postings. Word in Maseru was that most of the bizarre appointments were due to the closeness of those appointees to the Prime Minister’s wife. “When people go to the elections, they only vote for the President or the Prime Minister; they never vote for the spouse. It is in this context that attempts to transfer power to what is known as First Ladies in the medium of the bedroom should never be accepted. “A s R o b e r t Mugabe has probably noticed even if he does n o t wa n t to acknowledge, bedroom coups a lways e n d i n tears! Even if the courtiers scream in the media against this warning, the fact is that we have started badly. The spectre of a bedroom coup is ominous in Lesotho.” And in his 2017 article titled ‘The Politics Of First Ladies In The Twentieth Century’, the political scientist and former political advisor to Mosisili, also discussed the role of first spouses. “The Institution of First Lady is ceremonial and not elected. She is just the wife of the president or the prime minister depending on the existing political system. Since she is the person closest to the elected official, she can be very influential and affect policy negatively or positively. “She performs ceremonial and tradition functions as the

...The minute he started talking about his wife, ABC supporters walked out on him in government. Former National University of Lesotho (NUL) ProVice Chancellor Prof. Mafa Sejanamane, likened ‘Maesaea’s interference to that of former Zimbabwe President Robert M u gab e ’s w i fe G ra c e, wh o meddled in government business during her husband’s presidency. Sejanamane said there were worrying signs hardly six months into the formation of Thabane’s four-party coalition government in December 2017, of the premier’s wife’s propensity to meddle in government business. “ Fo r L e s o t h o t h e re a re worrying signals less than six months after the new government took over power. Of course, some of the information we have has

wife who sometimes appears as a fashion trendsetter or traditional wife who represents women of the country. It is important to distinguish the role of a First Lady from that of an elected politician whom she is not and a ceremonial individual performing strictly those ceremonial duties which she does as the First Lady,” Likoti declared. According to Likoti, the political role of the First Lady was to champion social causes, under the auspices of her office’s mandate and far from the Ministry of Social Development. “She fulfils her function as a wife and mother. This aspect of First Ladyship also includes the requirement that the First Lady should not overshadow the President or disagree with him in public. The First Lady acts as a social advocate and champion of social causes.” Likoti stated that “Grace Mugabe and ‘M’aesaea are politically ambitious, unladylike and aggressive power mongers in their own right”. “ L i ke G ra c e M u ga b e , ‘M’aesaea appears to be driving the current government to a constitutional crisis unless her actions are radically curtailed. Like Grace she is likely to collapse this government if her ambitious are not arrested urgently,” Likoti said. “Subsequent to the above conflictual situation in ministries, her husband, the Prime Minister has even gone to the extent of threatening some ministers with reshuffle, not unless they cooperate with his wife. This was the case in point with the former President Robert Mugabe. “The fact that, the PM came out defending her role and relations with the ministers, meant that something was amiss. Her role is ceremonial and has nothing to do with ministers.”


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Friday May 11, 2018

News Analysis News

Incoming Law Society council has RAY MUNGOSHI

M

ASERU – When two of the country’s shrewdest political operators – albeit from totally opposed camps – complain about the conduct of members of an identified profession, the rest of us ought to be afraid, very afraid. Prime Minister Tom Thabane and the country’s most famous pre-trial prisoner, former army Chief Tlali Kamoli recently but separately let rip at lawyers, for different reasons. T h aba n e n o t k n ow n fo r holding back when lobbing verbal grenades at pesky opponents, lashed out at a cabal of prominent lawyers and demanded their arrest for accessing an unpublished government gazette. T h e l aw ye rs – s o m e o f the most inf luential and best legal minds of their generation – courted Thabane’s ire after blocking his plan to appoint Justice ’Maseshophe Hlajoane acting president of the Appeal Court. In an aff idavit Thabane accused the lawyers; Attorney Qhalehang Letsika, Advocates Motiea Teele KC and Karabo Mohau KC of mounting their court challenge on a government gazette he said was withdrawn before publication. The gazette announcing the appointment of South Africa’s Justice Yvonne Mokgoro had been printed but was never issued. T h e l a w y e r s , h o we v e r, attached the gazette to their court papers and used it to stop the appointment of Justice Hlajoane. “I have a strong conviction t h a t t h e l aw e n fo rc e m e n t machinery of the state have to follow the issue up, if only to eradicate this kind of conduct by people such as the applicants who access secret documents of the state before they (are) entitled to access them,” Thabane said. “They unlawfully accessed the inchoate secret document of the government, practically caused confusion and disturbed peace of the citizenry in circulating the document in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the government of Lesotho to such an extent that they proceeded to distribute it to the opposition political parties with the view of painting a picture that my governing style is interfering with the independence of the judiciary,” Thabane said. “That is their covert campaign and it is supported mainly by my opponents in politics. They rely on this impugned document which they accessed in contravention of the law to sustain the present politically-driven litigation and this is having deleterious effect over the confidence the citizens have in the judiciary.” This group of lawyers plus Advocate Zwelakhe Mda (KC) has jousted with Thabane in the courts since last year over Justice

Kananelo Mosito’s fitness to ascend to the Appeal Court. Mo s i to i s gove r n m e n t ’s preferred candidate for the coveted job but his tax problems, and a constitutional court decision have intermittently been used to impede his passage to the apex court. And speaking early last year at the BNP Centre on the eve of the June poll, Thabane was scathing in his criticism of lawyers – whose profession regulates all human endeavour – accusing State attorneys of misleading then Premier Pakalitha Mosisili. This after Mosisili had refused to accede to parliament’s demand that he hands over power to Alliance of Democrats (AD) leader Monyane Moleleki after losing a confidence motion in the National Assembly. Instead, he asked the King to dissolve parliament and call a snap poll in the vain hope of earning a fresh mandate to govern. In a sweeping tirade, Thabane accused lawyers of extracting huge fees from clients but failing to deliver satisfactory services. And then there is the curious case of Lieutenant General Kamoli. Last month, Kamoli moaned before High Court Judge Justice Semapo Peete that his lawyer Advocate Letuka Molati had willfully skipped three consecutive courts sittings. Kamoli, the mere mention of whose name once evoked fear throughout Lesotho, is fighting off one murder charge and 14 charges of attempted murder. He told the court he was paying his lawyer a small fortune but was aghast at the advocate’s non-appearance in court. Advocate Molati launched a vehement rebuttal of press reports of the court exchange between Kamoli and Justice Peete on social media and then appeared in court at Kamoli’s next hearing.

In a bizarre Facebook rant, Molati insisted he was still Kamoli’s lawyer, contrary to reports that he had ditched his client. He nevertheless remained silent on the crux of the matter, which was that he had not appeared in court thrice, literary deserting his client at the altar of justice. H owe ve r, ye s t e rd a y h e defended his absence, saying: “Every time we attend court, we charge clients and it is an expensive amount. I cannot go to court if nothing important is going to take place therefore there was never a court session I was compelled or bound to attend; in a case where one is accused of murder, when things are normal, remands are done in the Magistrate Court not in the High Court. “As a result, I will not attend remands in the High court; I am not interested in attending remands for an accused person waiting trial when remands are done in the High Court because it is a new thing, it is a surprise; it is something I have never seen in my many years of (practicing) law. The day the case proceeds in court I will be in court”. Also, prominent lawyer and former deputy Law Society president Advocate Christopher Lephuthing is currently locked in a damaging war of attrition with one of his clients, Qacha’s Nek businesswoman Mosimoli Manamolela, over his commitment to resolving her pending legal matters. The 54-year-old landowner is accusing the lawyer of halfheartedly pursuing judgments in two cases in which she is fighting for ownership of business sites and residential property she inherited from her late father. L e p h u t h i n g h a s re f u te d M a n a m o l e l a ’s a c c u s a t i o n s insisting loss of a file in the

Advocate Letuka Molati, left, is the imprisoned ex-army boss Lt General Tlali Kamoli’s lawyer

Incoming Law Society president Advocate Tekane Maqakachane

Qacha’s Nek Magistrates Court and inordinate delays in issuing of the High Court judgment had stalled progress in the cases. Lephuthing last week said the Law Society would vindicate him because “I did everything by the book and discharged my duties accordingly”. “Without even inf luencing anybody . . . There’s no wrong I have committed, and I am sure I will be vindicated,” Lephuthing said. “First of all, I must mention that it’s regrettable that I am being fired for not issuing a judgment. It is a fact that I don’t issue judgments, that they are issued by judges,” Lephuthing said. While Lephuthing’s moral blameworthiness appears low given the compelling reasons he has proffered for the delays, some of his “learned friends” accused of “professional aberrations” seem to have no legal legs to stand on, literary. Added to these high-profile cases, which are by no means exhaustive, every year several

lawyers are barred from practicing for dipping their fingers into their firms’ trust accounts. Law firms are legally required to operate trust accounts into which they deposit clients’ monies. The funds should be accounted for annually to the Law Society before lawyers’ practicing certificates are renewed. Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) director Tsikoane Peshoane a fortnight ago laid the blame for most controversies dogging the justice system on a fragmented Law Society which he accused of failing to discharge its obligations to the public. T h e i n te r n a l s t r i fe , h e said, had so incapacitated the organisation that it was unable to speak collectively on issues of national importance; and importantly, had failed to defend the rights of the poor. “The Law Society is not seen to be recognised by all its members as its internal problems have seen a powerful minority repeatedly branching off at a tangent thus projecting the view that it (Law Society) doesn’t have


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 19

News Analysis Interview News

its work cut out a homogeneous view on issues,” he said. “It is a house divided.” “The Law Society has the exclusive privilege of defending the constitution, but it has vacated this space because of the internal strife”, a situation likely to put the public at risk if the society cannot censure its members, especially when they turn rogue. According to the Law Society Act 1983 (the Act) the Law Society should promote “sound legal learning” and play an oversight role over legal practitioners. Hence, the society shall “provide for the maintenance and advancement of sound legal learning and correct and uniform practice and discipline amongst the members of the profession … to suppress dishonourable conduct or practices”. This thus shifts the searchlight onto legal ethics and training which play an important role in ensuring that the conduct of lawyers meets the requirement of “a fit and proper person” to practice law and protects the public from unprofessional and unethical lawyers. Legal ethics which are tightly bound up with individuals’ internal moral compass also play a significant role in guiding lawyers to avoid pitfalls that may stop them from passing muster with the Law Society. South African legal writer Melodie Slabbert lists some of these potential hazards as: The adversarial system in which there are two opposing parties. This system has the potential to sometimes pressure a lawyer to place his client’s interest not only ahead of the interest of the adversary but ultimately ahead of the interests of justice. Increased competition at a professional level and among law firms who sacrifice morality “... in order to take and win more cases” than the opposition.

Legal education at universities that does not prepare prospective lawyers for the moral challenges of the legal profession. The general lawlessness which is prevalent and perceptible in society. Moral bonds are relaxed and persons either lack or do not use their internal moral compasses. New Law Society president Advocate Tekane Maqakachane admits the society, which he says is “strategically positioned to champion the cause of the disadvantaged section of the people in ensuring that not only access to justice is open, but also that justice is administered fairly and properly” and the entire justice system, is in turmoil. “ We d o n o t n e e d t o reconstruct anything; we need to overhaul the system; we need to decolonise legal education and legal practise; we need African (Basotho) values to become the defining fundamental base for the profession and the social clue that holds the members of the profession together. “Law Society, in our context, is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that its membership, the legal practitioners, live up to their role as agents of change, as legal experts that represent their respective clients, as wise counsellors who not only advise on what is legally correct, but also what is ‘right’ in any given circumstance, and also to be effective leaders. “Diligent service to the clients is enforced by … insisting on the fundamental core values … honesty, integrity, fairness, confidentiality, industry, client’s interest and freedom, competence and fair fees,” Adv. Maqakachane said. He reckons that Lesotho’s legal education system is still umbilically connected and closely mirrors the British system is a problem.

Mosimoli Manamolela and Advocate Christopher Lephuthing

“Ours is a legal profession based on a colonially sponsored structure, administration and functioning. The legal education t h ro u gh wh i c h o u r l ega l practitioners become products is based on British system of legal education. It is also based on English traditions of the Bar and Side Bar. It is defined by deep philosophy of individualism.” Historically, rich Basotho joined the Inns Court in Britain to attain professional qualifications. Once qualified, the barristers and solicitors (the equivalent of Advocates and Attorneys) focused on private litigation, which was dominated by commercial firms and private interest. In the 1960s, black lawyers from elite families trained in London, although that system was not suited for the realities of African Societies. “Legal practice is heavily tilted on the business and private side of the legal p ro fe ss i o n to t h e g rea t detriment of professionalism, service and protection of i n te re s ts o f t h e p o o r a n d marginalized,” he said. Both Manamolela and Kamoli claim to have paid their lawyers’ fees in full, hence the dismay at the lawyers’ conduct. Where clients feel aggrieved by the lawyer’s performance, the Act offers a glimmer of hope to duped clients by allowing them to claim from a Law Society managed fidelity fund. Maqakachane though says an efficient law society that ensures “legal practitioners m a i n t a i n t h e a p p ro p r i a t e standards of professionalism; legal practitioners perform the mandate of the clients… driven by the core values and the probability of corrective measures being taken in the event of aberrations”

Justice Kananelo Mosito is government’s preferred candidate for the presidency of the Appeals Court

could end this problem. “…there’s a perception that reporting one’s lawyer to the law society is tantamount to reporting a thokolosi to a witch. But in reality that’s not the case. Hence, we encourage people to bring their cases to us, for appropriate action to be taken. “People can just come to us with the numbers of the cases they are disgruntled with, so that we can engage the lawyer involved and establish what action should be taken going forward. “In the event that their relations have been damaged b e yo n d re p a i r, t h e c l i e n t can deman d t he i r f i l e an d compensation depending on how much the lawyer had been paid and work done, and seek the services of a new lawyer,”

Maqakachane said. “If we feel the need, we can also institute disciplinary measures against the lawyer. If we find him/her guilty of misconduct, we correct them. “However, if we feel the offence is so bad that the person doesn’t deserve to practice as a lawyer anymore, we can take the case further with a court of law, seeking that the individual be struck off the roll of lawyers.” He nonetheless lists a number of measures he considers key to changing the legal milieu. “The Faculty of Law of the National University of Lesotho, which plays a fundamental role in legal education must adopt experiential legal education techniques, methodologies and pedagogies. “Second, the Legal Practitioners Act 1983 and the Law Society Act 1983 which entrench continued colonial enterprise are scrapped and a new legal structure is put in place which will be responsive to the local reality and the needs of our people. “Third, we shall encourage our legal practitioners to undertake pro bono litigation on behalf of the poor and marginalised, in befitting cases; the Law Society shall also identify meriting cases concerning the poor and the disadvantaged and institute public interest litigation on their behalf,” he said. While unlikely to surgically remove the festering tumour aff licting the legal fraternity, experts nonetheless agree these measures are a bold statement of intent by the incoming Law Society council to snuff out the perfect storm speeding towards the justice system.


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Friday May 11, 2018

Personality African News Affairs ’MATHATISI SEBUSI

M

ASERU - Being the voice of the voiceless, a helping hand to the elderly, the vulnerable and the needy, as well as a mentor and motivator to the youths, is Teboho Mohloai’s passion. Born 27 years ago in Motimposo, Maseru where her family lived for years before relocating to Naledi, Mohloai grew up in a family of five where she was surrounded by many extended family members. For years, she and her siblings were raised by their grandmother ’Maselimo Mohloai because her parents worked in Quthing and they only returned after her granny passed away. She describes her upbringing as both pleasant and full of fun as her late grandmother was a great storyteller whose tales never ceased to amuse the children. “We learnt so much from her tales and, among others, we learnt about the importance of culture, oneness and problem solving. I also discovered that it is not wise for Basotho to divorce themselves from their culture and from the teachings of our forebears like my late grandmother,” she says. She started school at St James Primary School in 1996 before moving to Lesotho High School in 2004 prior to enrolling at the Institute of Extra Mural Studies (IEMS) for a diploma in adult education. Although she initially wanted to study mass communication, fate however drove her into the education field. “I only learnt later how important in life the programme of adult education is as it is about human capital theory, which entails investing in the education of the community, understanding life’s challenges and finding solutions to such challenges. “A m o n g o t h e r s , t h e programme also arms its students with skills on how to approach certain social issues and people. It also entails sociology, psychology, philosophy and health-related issues,” she says. Mohloai is also the secretary general of the African Youth and Adolescence on Population and Development ( AYA P D ) - a n i n i t i a t i v e that promotes and advances greater youth participation in African’s development through strengthening leadership and advocacy skills and promotion, active involvement in policy, programming and implementation through regional and sub-regional structures. AYA P D i s a yo u t h - l e d development body which advocates sexual and reproductive health, influences policies and has strategic youth development programmes. “The association also empowers youths and comprises diverse youths from all walks of life and different social statuses. It also includes graduates and youths living with HIV and Aids. “The association works in 21 countries in the Eastern and

A peek at what drives youth ambassador Mohloai

Southern Africa regions but is not yet established in Lesotho though preparations to bring it to Lesotho are underway with the support of the UNFP country office,” she noted. In 2012, Mohloai joined Youth for the World; an association she found on facebook. The association was founded by youths from Berea who teamed up to help their communities empower other youths and improve lives. Among others, the association helps elderly people living in inaccessible rural areas of Berea to get services such as identification documents, passports and other services as well as act as a mediator where there are minor conflicts in the community. “For example, we assisted in disputes between the community of Qopo and the area chief who abused alcohol and neglected his duties. “We also helped arrest a rape suspect who sexually molested his young step-daughter, the

man’s wife did not want to get him arrested. At another point, we also notified police about a human trafficking incident that occurred in Berea. “We further helped discover vulnerable people and disabled children who are normally hidden by their guardians to avoid discrimination,” she also says. The association also raises awareness on rape, abuse and other social challenges that are usually difficult to address as we as encourage communities to report abuse cases to relevant authorities. “ We a l s o a s s i s t s c h o o l children and students from under-privileged families to get educational grants, bursaries and employment. “Recently, we helped a youth to attend training in Japan on advanced farming. I also volunteered with other youths from Youths for the World at the Magistrate’s Courts to learn more about law and one of the magistrates actually taught us the

basics of law,” she says, adding she later joined the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) youths. She was later elected into the executive committee of the LPPA Thakaneng group. “Since then, my love for youth development and helping others has grown and I am now travelling the world and learning about youth issues that happen around the world,” she says. Since she joined LPPA, she has travelled to Kenya to attend an annual executive forum before she went to Namibia for a Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) summit and back to Nairobi when the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) started an initiative to harness and encourage women leadership. “The travelling has opened my eyes and I am now able to see youth issues with a different eye. People from other countries deal with issues affecting the youth in a different way and we are trying to learn a few tricks from them”.

Thakaneng is a youth association for young people below the age of 24 where the youth discuss social issues affecting them without interference from adults. So m e o f t h e key to p i c s discussed at Thakaneng include sex, sexual reproduction and the use of contraception. “We used to go to outreaches to teach youths about sexual health services. These are done through edutainment, drama and many other entertaining ways,” Mohloai says. She left Thakaneng when she turned 24 and became a mentor to other youths - a journey that had her growing and exposed to more opportunities to be a better informed youth. In 2014, she met her mentor ’Mamorao Khaebana who works for the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and she helped her augment her love for youth development. After Mohloai also started working for UNFP, she attended a youth conference in Zambia which experience has taught her that Lesotho is not the only country that struggles to deal with issues affecting the youths. “But as nationals of Lesotho, we should be accountable and take actions in addressing the challenges and mobilise resources within ourselves in our country. Basotho youths need to work together to achieve their goals, seek opportunities and complement each other to avoid repetition and, most importantly, think outside the box,” she adds. She also wishes different investments would be made for the youths depending on their likes and talents. However, she feels there are not enough platforms in Lesotho where she can teach and share with other youths what she learned during her travels in Africa. She wishes the government can support youth associations and maybe make platforms where they would openly hold discussions on all matters affecting them. “National councils in other countries work hard, hand in hand with associations. Lesotho needs a platform where youth will learn about the importance of the national council, its mandate and what it has to do for the youths. “In terms of youths’ issues, Lesotho is under-represented at regional and international levels. Normally it is represented by one or two people who do not even know each other while other countries are represented by a group of five or more who are supported by their countries,” she says.


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 21

International Sport News

Arsenal ditch big-name candidate …as they edge closer to drawing up new short-list John Cross Arsenal have slashed their managerial shortlist - and Patrick Vieira has made the cut. They have also got Max Allegri and Mikel Arteta among the candidates to succeed Arsene Wenger this summer as they look to reduce the options to five names they will present to majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique appears to be out of the running because of his wage demands, and also with the Gunners as keen on appointing a young head coach as they are to turn to a big name. Arsenal want to make an appointment before the World Cup kicks off on June 14, but are also acutely aware of the distraction of the finals in Russia, a shorter transfer

window that closes on August 9 and their pre-season plans, which mean that in an ideal world it would be done quicker. Former Arsenal captain Vieira - now in charge of Major League Soccer’s New York City - would be a popular choice among the fans, while Manchester City coach Arteta, who also wore the armband for the club, has big support within the Emirates hierarchy. Juventus boss Allegri has indicated his interest, but the Italian club - set to win their seventh consecutive Serie A title and fourth in a row under him - also want to keep him and are prepared to offer a new contract. Germany coach Joachim Low has been a contender postRussia 2018, while Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim is also well thought of. H o f f e n h e i m ’s J u l i a n

Nagelsmann has hinted he may want to stay in Germany for another year. Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is on board with a young appointment, while the Kroenkes also had big success in the NFL last season by naming Sean McVay as the Los Angeles Rams’ head coach when he was just 30. After over a decade of mediocrity, the Rams won 11 of 16 games under McVay to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. They are likely to present a big name option as well as a younger coach to the Kroenkes - majority shareholder Stan’s son, Josh, is taking a hands-on role - to succeed 68-year-old Wenger.

Could the Invincibles’ captain succeed their manager at the Emirates?

Rooney agrees ‘deal in principle’ to join DC United Simon Stone

Wayne Rooney re-joined Everton from Manchester United in July 2017

Wayne Rooney has agreed a deal in principle that could see him leave Everton for Major League Soccer side DC United this summer in a £12.5m deal. Rooney's representatives have been in the US to negotiate terms and the former England skipper is willing to leave the Premier League club. Nothing has been signed yet and uncertainty over Everton boss Sam Allardyce's position means the forward, 32, could stay at Goodison Park. Rooney re-joined Everton in July 2017. He spent 13 seasons

at Manchester United after signing from Everton as an 18-year-old, becoming their record goalscorer and winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League. It is understood Rooney has been offered a contract until the end of the 2020 MLS season. The US transfer window does not open until July. Earlier this week, Allardyce said Rooney wants to stay and dismissed suggestions England's record goalscorer is frustrated with his role. "It would have to be massive for him to want leave Everton," the former England manager told Talksport. "I've not had a problem from

day one with Wayne (but) the Wayne Rooney saga continues on doesn't it?" Allardyce's future is also uncertain at the club, with fans not happy with his style of play. Rooney, who is halfway through a two-year deal at Goodison Park, has played 31 times in the league this season with four appearances from the bench. He reacted angrily to being substituted against Liverpool in a 0-0 draw last month. Rooney is Everton's top scorer with 11 goals this season. Rooney's return to his beloved Everton last summer was meant to provide an emotional final flourish to a magnificent career. - BBC

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22

Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018

Sport News From The Terraces NTHAKO MAJORO

Huge loss for domestic football The passing away of Thabane Rankara has left most football lovers stunned. The sports man was a force to be reckoned with in the domestic league. The former LCS and senior national squad, Likuena striker was a speedy forward who was revered for his lethal assaults. Thabi, as his friends and former teammates called him was highly respected for his speed, which made him one of the deadliest forwards in local football. The footballer played to score, which is exactly what every striker should do in the pitch. Testimony to this is that during the 2008/09 Season, Rankara won the premier league’s top goal-scorer. At the time, the Lesotho Premier League (LPL) was sponsored by the same sponsors, Econet, through their brand, Buddie. That was the last Buddie Premier League as Vodacom took over in the following season, 2009/10 until this year when Econet bounced back. Lioli won the 2009/2010 Buddie Premier League title and LDF were the runners up. I don’t recall what position LCS appeared on the log but Rankara was the main goal scorer of the league notwithstanding that his team failed to win the title. But guess what, Rankara was very when he returned home empty-handed after only the title trophy was presented to the victors. Rankara had earlier been invited to the event to collect his golden boot award though he only left the occasion later without his hard earned accolade. I attended the event and immediately after the league trophy, medals and prizes were awarded with nobody saying anything on why individual accolades were not given. I was the first journalist to interview Rankara. There is no doubt the fact that he was denied his award was a major cut in his heart especially because no explanation with no explanation offered. Certainly fact that he didn’t get what he was supposed to get there became a stab in his heart. Rankara was by nature a taciturn man though he always accommodated interviews with newsmen. I recall how bitter he still was over the elusive award some years later when I profiled him. We later formed a serious amity and I know for a fact how passionate he was about football and its development. He did not appear affable to most people because of his laidback demeanor but when one got to know him better, he was an easy-going man who loved a good laugh every now and again. During his playing days, Rankara won the league title more than once with his club LCS, including several domestic cup competitions. Because he was one of the best strikers in the country, he was part of the Likuena squad that competed in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

Base and softball experts revisit Lesotho NTHAKO MAJORO MASERU- Two foreign sports experts from Italy and the United States of America are expected in Lesotho soon to make an assessment on the country’s baseball and softball development programmes. According to the Lesotho Baseball and Softball Association (LBSA) spokesperson, Lisema Mapetla, the two experts were in the country three months ago to conduct coaching clinics for primary and high school learners. Mapetla said the training also targeted teachers so that they could continue with the programme in their absence. The experts, Mapetla said were

expected to arrive in Lesotho yesterday with the assessment set to start today and end on Sunday. “They were in Lesotho in February to launch the programme and they held a one-week workshop for teachers from primary and high schools, as well as conducting coaching clinics for pupils and students in both sporting codes,” Mapetla said in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday. Mapetla said the two foreign expects were invited to develop both sports from grassroots level, adding however that the two sporting codes were already being played in some local high schools. “But softball has attracted more players

than baseball. I believed this is because baseball is the more complex compare to softball,” he said. He added: “The LBSA has therefore requested technical assistance from the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC).” The assessment, Mapetla said would be made in a form of tournaments to be held at Maseru Club. “The programme is very crucial for the development of baseball and softball in the country. It is going to help us have many baseball teams to compete in the major league,” he said. At the moment, LBSA has only a softball major league.

Chess Olympiad Games squad unveiled NEO SENOKO

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ASERU – The Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) has named a robust team to represent the country at the upcoming 43rd Chess Olympiad Games scheduled for Batumi, Georgia. The squad, made up of five female players and their five male counterparts, is expected to bring medals home from the games in September. In a bid to better equip the team with skills, the federation has enlisted the services of an international coach just three months before the event. “We are going to engage an expert foreign coach who will enhance the team with the essential technical knowhow ahead of the tournament. In that way, we hope our

charges will do well in Batumi,” CFL acting president Tlhoriso Morienyane, said in an interview with Public Eye on Monday. The team comprises elite players such as Tokelo Klaas, Sechaba Khalema, Naleli Mcpherson and ’Maboloko Leboela. The expectation is that the quartet will guide their less experienced teammates like Theko Khanyapa, ’Malehloa Likhomo and Liteboho Mohatlane. Other members of the squad include Ramokotjo Lekau, ’Malillo Phera and Lieketseng Ngatane. The team was selected from a series of national tournaments and will also compete in other international events in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique before leaving for Batumi in the next four months. “The regional tournament we will compete in shall among others grant us the

essential exposure that we need to boost our confidence before the major global show,” Morienyane said. Meanwhile the annual 2018 high school chess championships ended on a high note last week with St Stephen’s High School successfully defending their title, securing 30.5 points in the process. Methodist High School came second, registering 25.5 points followed by Leqele High School in with 24 points. Morienyane expressed his satisfaction at the growth of the sport in Lesotho, particularly through young people whose interest is normally developed in school competitions. “The tournament has been developing over the years and has produced a number of top players who are also some of the best in the country,” he said.


Public Eye

Friday May 11, 2018 23

Sport News

Local softball players at a tournament

A-Division teams battle for Top 8 spot NEO SENOKO MASERU - The A-Division Top 8 tournament comes to an end this weekend with the best four teams battling it out for the top honours after winning their quarter final stages. The Leribe-based outf it, Galaxy have gained automatic promotion to the premier league and take on Manonyane in the first semifinal tomorrow at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena. Lifofane will fight for the final

spot against Swallows, another side that has gained promotion to the elite league. This comes after all the four teams triumphed in the quarter final phase with Galaxy thumping Lithabaneng Golden 5-4 on penalties after the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Roma based side Manonyane progressed to the semis following a 3-0 drubbing of Litšilo. In another game Lifofane beat the A-Division rookies Lijabatho 2-0 to advance to the semifinals

Football mourns Rankara’s death NTHAKO MAJORO

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ASERU – Top goal poacher Thabane Rankara is eulogized as one of the best strikers Lesotho has ever produced. R a n ka ra , 4 0, d i e d l a s t week Thursday at the Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital better known as Tšepong, after a long illness. Thabi, as the former LCS and Likuena striker was affectionately called by his teammates, first fell ill in September last year. LCS general team manager, Lehlohonolo Matlosa, said the late goal poacher’s contribution to the club’s trophy cabinet was immense. “A l l t h e m a j o r t ro p h i e s that LCS have, from the league champions, Top 8 Tournament and Independence Cup and Vodacom Soccer Spectacular, are through Rankara’s immense

contribution,” Matlosa said in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday. He said Rankara was LCS’ top goal scorer five times between 1998 when he joined Masheshena and 2015 when he hung up his soccer boots. “His work rate was amazing, about 90 percent of the team’s successes were through his efforts. He was also the premier league top goal scorer and has done national service for the senior team, Likuena,” he said. Former Likuena mentor, Mo n a h e n g D o c Mo nya n e described the late forward as a hard-working marksman. “He was a hard working player who knew how to utilise scoring opportunities. That was his best quality as a striker and every sensible coach would love to have him in his squad,” Monyane said. He said was very silent man

while Swallows registered an emphatic 3-1 victory over Ketane. Defending champions Swallows are keen to keep the momentum going this year and are prepared to go all out to retain the title. Swa l l ows h ea d c oa c h Lebohang Matobo is confident that his charges are more than ready to defend their title. “We know that all the teams are targeting us because we won the tournament last season and also because we had a very good who was very productive as a player. “I once called him up when I was Likuena’s head coach because he was one of the best strikers we had then,” he added. Katiso Mojakhomo, former LCS coach, described Rankara as the type of player who did not want to lose. “He was a kind of player who did not want to be defeated and was not easily beaten,” Mojakhomo said. “He was the top goalscorer in three different seasons, and that was the quality which saw him being called up into Likuena.” Before he joined LCS, Rankara played for Melele in the A Division and Mojakhomo scouted him into the top-flight league. “I started having an interest in him while he was an LCS recruit, at the time, I didn’t even know that he had played for Melele before. “After he joined us, he became the pillar of the team. So I was genuinely surprised when he was dropped out of the team after I stopped coaching LCS. The late footballer is survived by his wife and a son. At the time of going to print last night, the date of his funeral had not yet been announced.

season. So our approach to this games is simply to do everything possible to defend the trophy,” Matobo said in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday. Swallows take on Lifofane in the second semifinal tomorrow and the coach is not intimidated by the opponents despite the latter team’s outstanding performance against Lijabatho before they advanced to the semis. “We saw how they play and won against Lijabatho but I think we have a strong team that can go

all the way to the finals,” Matobo said. In spite of missing on a chance to be promoted to the elite league, the Roma-based outfit Manonyane have been dubbed favorites to clinch the title this year owing to the quality in their team. The team that is mentored by former Lioli assistant coach Thabile Secker finished fourth in the southern stream with 30 points. “We have played against Galaxy before and apart from that, we saw their game last week and noticed their weaknesses and I hope we will capitalise on such aspects to win the game and advance to the finals,” Secker also said. Besides Manonyane, the northern stream winners Galaxy have been dubbed as the second favourites to win the trophy based on their consistent form throughout the season. The team won the league with 39 points, losing only thrice in 18 league games. Head coach Thabang Staff Busa said his team might not be considered the best by most people but he showed his were willing to go all the way to the finals. “Most people are talking about Manonyane but I have noticed their weakest links and we will capitalise on them. What I can tell you now is that we are going to win by more than one goal against Manonyane. “They might be more experienced but that in itself does not amount to anything in this league as long as you are ready to fight,” Busa who is also former Matlama striker told Public Eye on Tuesday.


Sport Public Eye

May 11, 2018

Fight for Roof of Africa slots NTHAKO MAJORO

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ASERU – A total of 280 riders from both South Africa and Lesotho will battle-it-out for slots in the bronze qualifiers of this year’s edition of the Roof of Africa Rally scheduled for Roma from tomorrow. The main event, the 2018 Roof of Africa Rally, is set for December 5 to 8 in Roma. The competition’s chief marshal, James De Jesus, said they were expecting 276 South African riders for the weekend’s qualifier. “Four of the 280 riders comprise Teboho Moretlo, Basia ’Maseatile, Tobatsi ’Maseatile and Timello Tšolo from Lesotho,” said De Jesus in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday. The new kid on the block Tšolo will be making his debut appearance in the race, while Moretlo and the two Maseatile brothers have previously competed in the event. But none of the three local riders’ showing was up

to scratch. In last year’s edition, both brothers managed to race to the fine line while Moretlo pulled out before the end of the race. “This time around local riders are well and we expect better performance from them this year,” De Jesus said adding competitors would battle-it-out in two loops at the weekend qualifier. The terrain he said is too technical, adding: “The first loop will be 30 km long while the second will be 52km. Our expectation is that a rider who will run the fastest time will finish the first loop in two hours, and the second loop in three and half hours.” Time bar for the first rider, who will be expected to leave the first loop at 07:00, is 12:00. “The second time bar will be 2hours and 30 minutes, while the third will be 4 hours and 30 minutes,” De Jesus indicated. Lesotho’s only silver class competitor, Joseph

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Motenane, is said to have targeted the weekend qualifier to help him intensify his preparations for the main Roof of Africa Race. “Motenane is actually not going to compete but to race as part of training for the main event in December,” said the Lesotho Off-Road Association (LORA) spokesperson, Keketso Malebo. Malebo said Lesotho would also hold an off-road car race later in September. This kind of event used to be held in the country before with Malebo saying they have decided to revive it years after it went out of operation. “We are already preparing a route for the car race. We have five local off-road car racers. One of the cars belongs to MGC, the two Makenete brothers, Katleho and Lehlohonolo, and the others are owned by LEO and Vennor Kennedy,” Malebo told Public Eye on Tuesday. He added that off-road competitors like the Makenete brothers also race in South Africa where they are performing quite well.

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