Month: September 2015
Testifying before the SADC commission of inquiry into the death of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) army commander, the wife of the late commander disclosed that the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Lekhetho Rakuane, sent unidentified men persuading the deceased to submit to anything that the government proposes so that the Deputy Prime Minister, Mothejoa Metsing could spare the late commander his life.
“This came as a shock because Advocate Rakuane was an old family friend,” so said the widow adding that was one of the issues that made her realise that her husband’s life was in danger.
The widow, Mrs. Mamphanya Mahao related story of the sufferings of his family, including gun shots attack to their house on the dawn of the 30th August, 2014 and sending of the deceased to leave of absence to South Sudan without receiving promised subsistence allowance.
Mrs. Mahao told the commission that the LDF’s Colonel Bulane Sechele, who was the first witness to testify before the commission, was the one commanding an operation that ended up killed the late commander.
She further told the commission that up to when she was testifying, authorities of the LDF has not communicated anything regarding her late husband’s benefits and their experience is the LDF was making it difficult for investigations surrounding the death the late commander to take place.
The commission will commence tomorrow 24th September, 2015.
A witness, Col. Tefo Hashatsi’s response was his protection mechanism as, according to him, in terms of Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Act, indication of knowledge of any issue pertaining to the death of the late commander will incriminate individual members of the LDF. Col. Hashatsi was invited to appear before the commission because his was named as one of LDF members who were in the operation where the later Maaparankoe Mahao was killed on the 25th July, 2015 at Mokema village a few kilometres from the Maseru city.
The commission has adjourned until tomorrow.
A 357 carats white diamond recovered at Letseng Mine in July 2015 has achieved $19.3 million on tender in Antwerp last week. This is makes it the most valuable diamond to have ever been discovered in Lesotho. The second most valuable remains Light of Letseng with $18.4 million. Followed in third position by Letseng Star with $16.5 million.
The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) of Lesotho, Hon. Mothejoa Metsing has this morning before the SADC commission of inquiries into the murder of Lesotho Defence Force commander Lt. Gen Mahao, argued that any legal notice passed with ulterior motive is null and void, and should be ignored.
Metsing was justifying as to why he did not seek court’s intervention regarding the prorogation of the parliament by the former Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane last year.
The DPM, who told the commission that he was not a lawyer defined the concept of the rule of law as respect for the law and that; “Where the rule of law is respected, the very person that initiate[s]legal process must follow the law itself. You cannot be a law unto yourself and expect others to behave otherwise.” He said adding that; “The honours here rest with the authorities.”
Judge Phumaphi brought to Metsing’s attention that the commission was faced with a situation where there were two interpretations.
“Some feel the way feel that when you hold a view that due process has not been observed in reaching the final decision that ultimately finds its way into a Gazette as a publication of legal situation you can ignore that publication or Gazette whatever.
“The other view is that,” Phumaphi continued, “it (Gazette) remains law until it is set aside by court of law.”
Phumaphi then asked Metsing as to who was ultimate arbiter to say who was right if there was a conflict of interpretation and Metsing, who argued that he was not finished with his presentation as the context was important for one to understand his stand, replied that; “The courts are the ones”.
Metsing argued he was providing background to a range of issues for the commission to appreciate the context.
“You know there are people who will definitely make those mistakes and you find that it was his honest and genuine interpretation of the situation. But there is somebody who does things with impunity from the onset embarking on a process of really defying the rules. That’s where you have a difference and the context here you will is not an ordinary situation whereby somebody, in his office in normal cause of events is making mistakes. No!” so said Metsing.
Judge Phumaphi further asked Metsing that; “Are you saying even if you feel that this person is driven by ulterior motive to do what he is doing, you can just sit back and ignore him?”
Metsing replied that there were those things that one has to take a stand as say no, given the fact that they were illegal.
Phumaphi insisted and put it to Metsing that; “If you see a publication in a Gazetta that affects you and you think there is something wrong about it, the best thing is to rush to the court and say please sat aside this, then you are operating within the law.
“But if you decide that I will just ignore it, you see the other person who is got an opposing interest might decide that this man is ignoring this, will it proper for him to say now I will what ever might I have to coheres him to comply? Is that not opening room for self-help when courts are there?”
The commission continues and Metsing was still testifying.
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) commission of inquiry into the killing of the late Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Commander Lt. Gen Mahao, adjourned for lunch with the Lesotho Deputy Prime Minister Mothejoa Metsing still testifying.
In his testimony Metsing revealed how their coalition (All Basotho Convention – ABC, Basotho National Party – BNP and Lesotho Congress for Democracy -LCD) failed to rule the country due to disagreement on a range of issues.
Some of the issues they disagreed on include removal of the recently reappointed LDF’s commander Lt. Gen. Tlali Kamoli.
According to Metsing, the former Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, much as he claimed how well was his working relations with Kamoli, Thabane wanted to promote Mahao on the grounds of being educated and exposure of working at SADC and African Union.
Another issue of disagreement was offering of amnesty to the people who were arrested attempting to assassinate him (Metsing) and other members of the Congress political ideology, while those who were committing crimes that were aiming at aborting mutinous and seditious acts were not being granted amnesty.
Another area of disagreement in the Thabane’s led coalition was firing of government senior officials such principal secretaries.
Metsing disclosed that one of their challenges was mismanagement of the government information to the media.
The commission will resume at 2pm.
Maseru- Under their mother body, Lesotho Council of NGOs, under the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Commissions, civil society organisations met today to position themselves for the COP 21 in Paris.
With the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the Lesotho Meteorology Services, the NGOs have among others, urged the government of Lesotho to;
“Prioritize climate change adaptation in national priorities linking directly to vulnerable communities. This includes investing in climate justice issues and building the capacity of communities to understand and respond to climate change,” as put by Kanunu Thabane on behalf of the Lesotho Council of NGOs yesterday.
Thabane who was officially opening a day long event appealed to the government of Lesotho the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) being finalised should be evidence driven and based on national circumstances and needs.
He argued that INDCs should be comprehensive and address all elements of the climate crisis including the need for technology transfer, adaptation and;
“In legal terms this means that INDCs should cover all the pillars of the Climate Change Convention”