DC begins infighting probe

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Keiso Mohloboli

The Democratic Congress (DC) was yesterday expected to begin probing infighting within its Youth League.

The investigation is being conducted by a Commission of Inquiry led by Public Works Deputy Minister and DC Member of Parliament for Matsieng constituency, Mokhele Moletsane.

Other members of the Commission are Thabo Chele (Motimposo constituency), Chembo Lesupi (Maama constituency), Moeketsi Shale (Mount Moorosi constituency), Tlhokomelo Thibankhoe (Taung constituency), Motlalekhotso Matheso (Mekaling constituency), Bokang Moleko (Khafung constituency), Keneuoe Falime (Qoaling), Relebohile Makhoebe (Berea constituency) and Pusetso Borotho (Tsikoane constituency).

Youth League President Thuso Litjobo on Tuesday confirmed the probe, which he said is expected to take 90 days.

“The inquiry will start tomorrow with the registration of party members who want to testify before the Commission.

“The proceedings will be closed to the public and will be dealt with as an internal party issue,” Mr Litjobo said.

According to Mr Litjobo, the Commission’s terms of reference include probing why congress supporters always fight over who should lead the party and how this could be resolved once and for all.

“The DC Youth League set-up this Commission of Inquiry to deal with the infighting and come up with recommendations not to punish anyone but bring back unity, peace and stability within the party,” he said.

“It must be clear that the Commission I am talking about here was appointed by the Youth League and is totally different from the nine-member team selected by the National Executive Committee to chair a meeting of 40 people to resolve the same infighting.”

Mr Litjobo also said it had become “common” that congress parties split when such conflicts arise, hence the establishment of the Commission to avert such an eventuality.

“In 1996, for example, the Basotho Congress Party split and in 1997, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) was established for the same reason – infighting for the leadership position.

“Then again in the run-up to the 2002 National Assembly elections, the same thing happened, resulting in the formation of the All Basotho Convention in 2006.

“Again, just before the 2012 elections, the DC was formed from the LCD for the same reason about who is the appropriate candidate to take the position of party leader. Once we don’t agree on a candidate, one of the feuding groups will definitely form a new party.

“Now the DC is going through the same problem and the appointment of the Commission is supposed to be a damage-control mechanism, which should stop the party from splitting.

“The Youth League is hoping there will be no such split before the probe completes its work within the next three months,” Mr Litjobo said.

Mr Litjobo would not be drawn to mention the names ‘Lithope’ and ‘Lirurubele’, which are the two factions involved in the vicious infighting and respectively backing party leader and  Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and the party’s deputy leader and Police Minister Monyane Moleleki, preferring to call them ‘Team A and Team B’.

“Team A is the faction accused by Team B of plotting to oust Dr Mosisili from the party leadership and replace him with his deputy, Ntate Moleleki.

“Team B has announced itself that they want the party’s leadership to be taken by the Women’s League President Dr ‘Matumelo Pontšo Sekatle.

“But all these factions must understand the infighting is unnecessary because it is well known that when the leader decides to resign or go for retirement, the deputy will take-over the leadership.

“Then again, my observation is the two factions don’t necessarily fight the leader as some people speculate. The two groups are just scared of the team which will win the fight,” Mr Litjobo said.

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