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Cookies and cooking up

by Lesotho Times
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SCRUTATOR has always commiserated with her media colleagues in the battle for a free press.

In fact, yours truly has been championing the media freedom jihad from the front for eons.

In this week that we marked World Press Freedom Day, I would have expected to hear eulogies highlighting the trials and tribulations that pressmen, including MoAfrika FM boss Ratabane Ramainoane, have faced.

Over the years Man Dread, who is also editor of MoAfrika newspaper, has faced countless threats and lawsuits for committing journalism in his own style.

But there he has been in the news again — not for a brush with the powers-that-be this time round.

Ramainoane is facing theft charges!

The state alleges that Jah Man, his wife Maclain Chere-Khoase Ramainoane and one Jobo Letele stole a bucketful of cookies and a public telephone.

Scrutator is fully aware the case is sub judice, but she prays the charges are not a wicked attempt to humiliate the trio.

Girls, I do not want to presume the cookies we are talking about here are the deep fat-fried makoenya type popular mostly with hard-up students.

The last time I checked one of that kind cost just 50 lisente!

Of course I had never bothered to check whether Ramainoane’s radio station and modest pamphlet were struggling that badly.

The biggest question is: if they did it, why, why, why Jah?

Were they hungry?

And who did they want to phone?

Well, Scrutator will not make the work of the prosecutor easier.

I will be right in court for this intriguing case when the hearing continues on June 1.


Has anyone noticed that wannabe journalists who run away from cadetships are normally so half-baked that they don’t realise it?

It’s a pity when they join newsrooms overflowing with incompetence in the hope that their little knowledge might make them shine.

You only need to look at a regular column in that tabloid to realise that Scrutator harbours no malice against anyone, failed lawyers included.

That aged greenhorn was at his best last week, trying as he did to sound sophisticated by misrepresenting facts.

He accused “sensationalists” of alleging that the attack on State House by uninitiated bandits over a fortnight ago was a “coup attempt”.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to tell that the cadet journo’s hogwash was aimed at the Lesotho Times, which carried the attack story under the headline “Coup attempt”.

Ha-ha-ha, you missed the point loser!

It was such a sad sight watching the poor boy trying to string an argument from a wrong pretext altogether.

In his mad rush to score cheap points, he missed the bit when the minister said the attack was an attempt to “destabilise the government”.

The Lesotho Times story said it was “believed to have been a mission to overthrow’’ the government. 

But the solicitor would not let such simple detail get in the way of a hatchet job on the paper that plucked him out of deep poverty and rejection by the profession he went to school for.

Girl am I surprised!

This is the boy who lied, without fear or favour, about the identity of the chief suspect in the case.

“Meanwhile, the police have confirmed that Makotoko Lesotho alias ‘Mashai’, a former member of the Lesotho Defence Force who held the rank of a Warrant Officer, is suspected of being involved in last week’s mayhem that left four insurgents dead and five arrested in South Africa,” scribbled the debt-ridden barrister in his scoop.

The police never confirmed such a lie. 

They said the chief suspect was Makotoko Lerotholi.

Read your own story for the police confirmation, ntate.

Mickey Mouse stuff indeed!

By the way, how about selling makoenya to supplement your meagre pay and settle long-standing debts?


Was the copy editor at the national news agency away on leave last week?

The copy dispatched to clients was just atrocious, leaving Scrutator to wonder if the editor was on leave.

Judging by the copy dished out last week and earlier this week, it seemed as if the whole newsroom had been hit by a serious bout of verbal diarrhoea.

The copy that they spewed stank, to put it kindly.

I am sure you will agree with me that there are certain basic things that any editor or sub-editor, worth his name, should get right.

If one fails to get it right that person has no business being anywhere near a newsroom.

“Ministers awarded prices,” read the headline of one of this week’s dispatches from the news agency.

Wow! Did you mean prizes?

“The two ministers were awarded prices by women’s movement ‘Ifo Lapeng’, in Maseru on Saturday during a one day workshop on gender-based violence,” said the story, confirming my earlier suspicion that the “prices” was not a genuine slip of the pen.

It was purely ignorance.

Reporting on last week’s tragic killing of one of our respected politicians, the news agency said: “Mr Motikoe (64) allegedly died at Lithoteng, Maputsoe on April 28 after being shot dead by a 57 year old man from the same village.”

Allegedly died?

Do the people at the news agency know things that we probably don’t?


Finally, why is it that every road accident in Maseru has to involve a car with a yellow line on its belly?

This week alone I witnessed five road accidents — meaning there is an accident happening in Maseru every day.

And in these five accidents there was an equal number of those yellow-bellied jalopies.

I mean those little cars you find all over town offering to carry pedestrians too tired to finish their errands on foot.

The same ramshackles endlesssly honk their horns and do such a thorough job of polluting the air with their choking exhaust emissions.

Is it mere coincidence or is there something fundamentally wrong with these little monsters plying our mainways pretending to be offering a service when in fact they are a menace to other motorists and pedestrians?

The sooner our roads are liberated of this menace the better for us all. 

Without drastic measures against these dangerous jalopies we might as well start building bigger mortuaries.

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