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ABC youths stand by Billy

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — The All Basotho Convention (ABC) party youth league is up in arms against the acting secretary general handpicked by the national executive committee to replace the suspended Macaefa Billy.

The war of words started when Sam Rapapa wrote a circular chastising the party youths for their “unruly” behaviour at rallies.

In the circular Rapapa also reprimanded the youth wing for attending party rallies armed with traditional sticks.

The sticks, known in the local Sesotho language as lebetelela, are often used as weapons and if it is in the hands of a skilled Mosotho man the weapon can be deadly.

Rapapa also told the youths in the circular that they should not sing at rallies unless they belonged to the constituency where the rally is being held.

But instead of accepting Rapapa’s counsel the youth league wrote a strongly worded letter berating him.

They said as far as they were concerned Rapapa did not have the right to reprimand them because he was not the elected secretary of the party.

Billy, the ABC youth league said, was the only secretary general who they recognised.

Billy was suspended last month after the alliance between his Lesotho Worker’s Party and the ABC collapsed.

But the youth league is said to be against his suspension.

“We do not know this Sam Rapapa and we do not know how he got a position in our national executive committee,” the youth league said in a statement last night.

“The national executive committee has never written a circular telling us that we have an acting general secretary called Sam Rapapa.

“Rapapa’s circular was meant to discredit and tarnish the good image of the youth league and the party.

“We take his circular as a mere pamphlet that has been thrown around in the street.

“To us he (Rapapa) is a ‘nobody’ and he does not have any right to write party circulars.

“To the best of our knowledge the ABC conference held in Mazenod elected Macaefa Billy and we know only him as the ABC secretary general.”

The league’s publicity secretary Jane Mohoalohoalo said the party’s national executive committee should have instructed one of its members to write the circular informing all constituencies about the appointment of Rapapa as acting secretary general.

“It is surprising that someone we don’t know could write circulars using the party letterhead and claiming to be the secretary general,” Mohoalohoalo said.

He also said even when Billy was suspended the youth league was not formally informed.

“We just heard about the decision like everybody else in the party. That is why I say, even today, the only secretary general for the ABC is Billy.”

Efforts to contact ABC leader Thomas Thabane failed last night.

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