Pascalinah Kabi/Nat Molomo
THE Basotho National Party (BNP) says its national executive committee (NEC) elections will go ahead this weekend despite a fresh High Court bid by disgruntled members to interdict the party’s election committee from running the hotly contested polls.
The seven applicants are Odilon Cekwane, Mothibeli Rateronko, ‘Mantahli Tlali, Senate Bereng, Tanki Daniel Raboroko, ‘Makhotso Mafeto and Thabiso Majalle. They are from Qacha’s Nek, Mafeteng, Qhalasi and Qoaling constituencies.
The applicants want the court to “declare that the executive committee of the BNP has committed contempt of court and the court should deal with the executive committee in the manner it deems fit”.
They argue that by holding the polls this weekend the BNP is acting in contravention of High Court judge Molefi Makara’s July 2019 order blocking 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.
There are 43 respondents who include the BNP, the BNP NEC and members of the election committee for the weekend elective conference.
In their court papers, the applicants state that “the BNP’s NEC is acting contrary to the final judgment of the court in repeating the same conduct which the court has already declared improper as it violates the law”.
Despite the fresh court application, BNP acting secretary general, Tšepo Monethi, told the Lesotho Times that the conference would go ahead as planned.
“The elective conference will go ahead as planned from 1 to 3 November 2019 at Thota-Moli Community Hall in Mazenod,” Mr Monethi said.
“The new court case does not affect the elective conference at all because the prayers that are being sought by the applicants do not ask the court to interdict us from holding the elective conference. The prayers only concern the interpretation of the court judgment (by Justice Makara in July 2019),” Mr Monethi said.
Chief Thesele ‘Maseribane’s post of deputy leader will not contested but party stalwarts, Joang Molapo and Mofomobe Machesetsa will face off in the contest for the deputy leader’s post.
Chief Molapo is the incumbent while Mr Mofomobe is currently the party spokesperson. The elective conference will be held at Thota-Moli Community Hall in Mazenod.
The BNP is part of the four-party coalition government along with Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC), Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki’s Alliance of Democrats (AD) and Labour Minister Keketso Rantšo’s Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL).