Aspiring DC candidate assaulted 'over T-shirt'

Lesotho Times
6 Min Read

MASERU — An aspiring Democratic Congress (DC) candidate for the upcoming election says he was beaten to a pulp for wearing his party’s T-shirt.

Refiloe Litjobo, who wants to be the MP for Koro-Koro constituency, alleges he was beaten on Friday night by a group of six men at Good Times Café in Maseru.

He says the six men attacked him a few moments after his confrontation with Good Times owner These Phooko and Principal Chief of Thaba-Bosiu, Khoabane Theko.

Phooko who is Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s nephew owns Thescons, a construction company that has in the past won several lucrative government tenders.

Litjobo says he suspects that Phooko and Chief Theko instigated his attack because a few moments earlier they had argued with him over his DC T-shirt.

Phooko has labelled Litjobo’s allegation a “blatant lie” while Chief Theko claims he only heard about the beating on Sunday morning when a local radio station called him for a comment.

Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha confirmed that Litjobo was assaulted and robbed of his mobile phone by six men after an argument over a DC T-shirt.

“The beating happened when the victim reached a flight of stairs at the café on his way out. He was beaten by about six men,” Masupha said.

Litjobo says on Friday night he found Phooko and Chief Theko, with whom he has worked on some Ministry of Health projects, at Good Times.

He claims he “playfully bragged” to the two men that he was smartly dressed in his DC T-shirt.

“I went over to greet him and asked him (Theko) in a jolly manner if he was aware that we DC members were now dressing smartly, pointing to my DC T-shirt,” Litjobo says, adding that before Theko could respond Phooko “jumped in to tell me just how much he hated the DC”.

“He said I hate this thing (DC). I don’t like this thing. I hate this party and its politics,” Litjobo alleged.

He claims he responded by telling Phooko it was shocking to hear him say he hates the DC because the two of them are where they are in life because of Mosisili’s politics.

Phooko’s response was that he was not accountable to any politician in this country, Litjobo alleges.

He says Theko became furious and asked if he knew who he was talking to.

“I could tell he was not impressed with the DC”.

“As I headed out of the place, I saw the two (Phooko and Theko) coming from the opposite direction, having left their tables.

“Ntate These (Phooko) then dared me to repeat what I said to him earlier on about benefiting from Ntate Mosisili’s politics and I did repeat so”.

“It was then that I was held from behind by a group of people who said I was causing trouble. Meanwhile Ntate These (Phooko) and Ntate Khoabane (Chief Theko) were watching.”

Litjobo further alleges that as he left the club six people started beating him until he lost consciousness.

He realised the following morning that the men had also stolen his phone.

On Tuesday Phooko vehemently denied Litjobo’s allegations saying there was no way he and Chief Theko could have instigated his attack.

“I only told Ntate Litjobo that it was not wise for him to frequent entertainment spots wearing party regalia,” Phooko said.

“It’s a blatant lie for him to allege that I said I hated my Uncle Ntate Mosisili’s politics and his party. He’s trying to build his profile by defaming me and Chief Khoabane (Theko).”

Phooko said he was disappointed by Litjobo’s insinuation that his construction company had won tenders because he is related to Mosisili.

“It’s a shame for Ntate Litjobo to be making allegations to the effect that my uncle could have stooped so low as to have used corrupt measures to award me tenders,” he said.

“The truth of the matter is that I bid for tenders and win them on merit. No politician has to my knowledge ever pulled strings for me to win tenders.”

Theko said he was not aware that Litjobo had been assaulted until Sunday when a local radio station called him for a comment on allegations that he had instigated the attack.

“We were not there when he was beaten up. That we were (there) is a fallacy. I would never have allowed that to happen,” Khoabane said.

“The man was too drunk and was trampling on people. They might have been offended and beat him up. If only he could stop drinking he’d become a decent person.”

According to Theko, Litjobo became angry when Phooko told him to leave the café.

“I told him that if the owner was ordering him to leave, he might as well do it. He was angry,” Khoabane said.

“He (Phooko) only told him that he discouraged people going to entertainment spots wearing political party regalia.”

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