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BNP elections fate today

Mohalenyane Phakela

HIGH Court judge Molefi Makara will today determine the fate of the Basotho National Party (BNP)’s elective conference penned for this weekend.

Judgment was reserved for today after the judge heard arguments from both sides

Seven BNP members on 2 July 2019 filed an urgent High Court application to block the party’s conference on the grounds that its announcement was not made in accordance with the party’s constitution requiring that BNP members be given at least 90 days’ notice before the conference is convened.

The applicants are Odilon Cekwane, Mothibeli Rateronko, ‘Manthati Tlali, Senate Bereng, Tanki Daniel Raboroko, ‘Makhotso Mafeto and Thabiso Majalle. They are from Qacha’s Nek, Mafeteng, Qhalasi and Qoaling constituencies.

There are 38 respondents who include the BNP, the BNP national executive committee (NEC) and the four constituency committees of Qacha’s Nek, Mafeteng, Qoaling and Qhalasi.

The applicants allege that the party’s NEC wants to hold the conference in contravention of the BNP’s constitution and therefore the conference should be cancelled by the High Court.

They have petitioned the court to order the BNP’s NEC to call for the conference in terms of section 11 (16) (c) of the party’s constitution which stipulates that “the notice period given to members of BNP is full 90 days prior to holding of the conference or any other reasonable period”.

The applicants asked the court to declare that “the decision of the NEC of BNP to announce and call for the holding of the conference…..be reviewed, corrected and set aside”. They also want the court to nullify the elections for the constituency committees in Qacha’s Nek, Qoaling, Qhalasi and Mafeteng.

“The elections for the BNP committee members for Qacha’s Nek, Qoaling, Qhalasi and Mafeteng should be reviewed, corrected and set aside, then fresh elections be held,” the applicants said in their court papers.

Justice Makara yesterday heard arguments from the applicants’ lawyer, Advocate Letuka Molati, and the defendants’ lawyers, Advocates Monaheng Rasekoai and Christopher Lephuthing until around 10pm.

He then reserved judgment for today which will determine the fate of the intended elective conference.

“I will issue an ex-tempore (instant) judgment tomorrow (today) and my reasons will follow later on because my diary is full as I am currently the only judge on roll who is seized with many matters,” Justice Makara said.

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