OPPOSITION Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele ’Maseribane says “some leaders” in the government had sent emissaries to court them for a possible coalition agreement while they were still in exile in South Africa.
Chief ’Maseribane made the claims while addressing thousands of opposition supporters who converged at the Pope John Paul II Monument in Maseru on Sunday for the rally to welcome him and other opposition leaders, Thomas Thabane of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) and Keketso Rantšo of the Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL).
The trio returned to the country from South Africa where they had sought refuge in May 2015, citing plots to assassinate them by members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). However, the LDF has consistently denied the allegations.
In his address, Chief ’Maseribane said: “There are some leaders who sent young people to us in exile.”
“They didn’t come to negotiate us themselves. I want to set up an appointment with you and I hear they call you DJ (disk jockey) but you are not here playing today (with other disc spinners playing music at the rally).”
This was in apparent reference to Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing who is nicknamed DJ.
The BNP leader stated his readiness to challenge Mr Metsing who he said was his age mate.
“Ntate (Prime Minister Pakalitha) Mosisili is my elder and the people of Pele Feela! (Alliance of Democrats slogan) have already abandoned him. I want that one (Mr Metsing) who is my age mate. I have fastened my trouser for you! I come from Mount Moorosi and you come from Mahobong. I am back!
“They once falsely accused me of slapping you, no! They were wrong. I don’t slap leaders, but I’m warning you Metsing my boy, Thesele is here now! You people should distance yourselves from this issue and let me deal with Metsing myself,” Chief ’Maseribane said.
He accused the government of corruption as well as repression which had forced “a large number of soldiers, police officers, correctional officers, media practitioners and political leaders to flee to South Africa for dear life”.
“As the opposition, we are committed to ensuring that those we left behind come home safely. We are also going to fight for the freedom of the detained mutiny soldiers. There is no justice in their detention.
“I heard the police are looking for me. I’m here. You (police) can just summon me to your office and I’ll be there. I am not afraid of being interrogated by the police as long as they don’t violate my rights. I am ready to hear why the police are looking for me,” he said.
He also called on Dr Mosisili to retire, saying the premier was now old.
“Ntate Mosisili you are old enough to leave politics and go home. Please pack your belongings and go home. I will respect you for that. I will even talk to my counterparts not to keep bothering you.”
However, LCD spokesperson Teboho Sekata scoffed at the claims suggestions that Mr Metsing could have courted the opposition leaders to enter into a coalition with the LCD.
He said Chief ’Maseribane’s utterances were signs of a “desperate man playing publicity stunts,” adding, “I waited anxiously to hear what he would say about Ntate Metsing but to no avail.
“He kept ranting without making a valid point,” Mr Sekata said.