OUTSPOKEN politician Bokang Ramatšella was this week called in by police for questioning over remarks he made last Friday on Thaha-Khube FM (TK FM) radio to the effect that outgoing Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) commander Lieutenant-General Tlali Kamoli’s “enemies” including the media would suffer negative consequences.
Lt-Gen Kamoli’s impending retirement on 1 December this year was announced by the government last week. The LDF chief is set to hand over the reins to his deputy Major-General Khoantle Motšomotšo.
Lt-Gen Kamoli’s retirement follows negotiations with government over his exit terms after a protracted campaign by the opposition and international community for his dismissal in line with the recommendations of the SADC Commission of Inquiry into Lesotho’s instability.
In the aftermath of the announcement of Lt-Gen Kamoli’s imminent departure, Mr Ramatšella last Friday was interviewed on TK FM.
According to a recording of the interview, Mr Ramatšella said: “On 1 December 2016, the enemies of General Kamoli who were always working with ABC (All Basotho Convention) nationalists to try and get back into power so that he would be arrested and treated like a thief and be sentenced to death, will have fallen as well, his enemies will have fallen.
“Before General Kamoli will be nationalist (party) corpses, white men and (United States Matthew) Harrington who will have lost their jobs, just like Harrington has fallen. More will have fallen, his enemies have fallen because they have drawn their battle lines with the commander.”
In apparent reference to Basotho who fled to South Africa citing threats to their safety, he said: “Even those who are hiding in the Boer wheat fields in South Africa citing fear of Kamoli’s administration, will not be Members of Parliament by the 1st of December when General Kamoli goes home.”
Mr Ramatšella yesterday confirmed to this publication he had been summoned by the police to “clarify my utterances and retract them”.
“I was told that there were people who had complained that their lives were now in danger as they felt threatened by my remarks,” he said.
“I refused to retract but clarified that what I meant by corpses and people falling, was that some people who have always pretended to be on General Kamoli’s side will have also lost their jobs just like him. I did not literally mean corpses.
“That is why I even cited Matthew Harrington as an example as his government had also fallen and all those who share the same sentiments as him will also have fallen,” Mr Ramatšella said, adding everyone was free to express their opinions which could be interpreted in different ways.
Mr Ramatšella said the Lesotho Times was among the entities he was referring to.
“I have an unshaken feeling that you are also aided by America even if it is not visible, but I am afraid you are always on the line because I do not know if the new American ambassador will be willing to maintain this relationship with your paper. You are also going to fall,” he said of this publication.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Clifford Molefe confirmed they had called in Mr Ramatšella and said they were making further investigations as they had “an obligation to uphold the law and enforce it”.