ABC suspends Phori
THE All Basotho Convention (ABC) has suspended its deputy chairperson, Chalane Phori, for three months for failing to attend meetings.
Mr Phori’s suspension is with effect from 5 August 2020. The ABC’s Ooaling legislator is also accused of speaking against the decisions of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) in the media, thereby putting it into disrepute.
Mr Phori has been a staunch supporter of ABC leader and former prime minister Thomas Thabane. He has ridiculed both new premier Moeketsi Majoro and the ABC NEC which is loyal to party deputy leader Nqosa Mahao.
Although he came into the NEC at the party’s elective conference in February 2019, Mr Phori has never seen eye-to-eye with most of its other members. He has been unrelenting in his support of Mr Thabane.
Mr Thabane was replaced by Dr Majoro in May this year. His fall also ended Mr Phori’s tenure as cabinet minister, having been appointed Minister of Small Businesses, Cooperatives and Marketing in June 2017.
According to ABC spokesperson, Montoeli Masoetsa, the ABC disciplinary committee on 5 August 2020 advised the NEC to suspend Mr Phori for three months after it found him guilty of indiscipline.
“There are a lot of issues surrounding Mr Phori’s behaviour but most significant has been that he never bothered to attend NEC meetings. But when the committee reached certain decisions, he would be heard in the media criticising such decisions,” Mr Masoetsa said.
“He was first called before the NEC to be rebuked of his ill behaviour but that never stopped him. His matter was escalated to the disciplinary committee which, on 5 August 2020, advised that he be suspended from the party for three months. He is not expected to participate in ABC issues until his suspension is lifted.”
Mr Masoetsa said Mr Phori’s suspension is not meant to foster more tensions in the faction riven party.
“It is just a disciplinary measure which is intended to strengthen unity within the ABC by disciplining those who do not go along with the party,” he said.
For his part, Mr Phori accepted the suspension and said all party members must abide by the constitution.
“Although I have not received any suspension letter from the secretary general (Lebohang Hlaele), I was brought before the disciplinary committee which alerted me that I was going to be suspended. I have no problem with that.
“The ABC constitution is clear that every member who acts contrary to its dictates must be taken to task. So, I therefore, agree that all those who act against the constitution be disciplined,” Mr Phori said.
Mr Hlaele himself shot down allegations that the NEC was out to eliminate Mr Thabane’s supporters saying the ABC was now a united party.
“We no longer have factions within the ABC but we are a united front… We don’t consider who commits a transgression. We consider the transgression itself and take corrective action” Mr Hlaele said last night.