‘I won’t respond’

litsoane2By Bongiwe Zihlangu

MASERU — Agriculture Minister Litšoane Litšoane says he will not respond to allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against him by his domestic worker ’Maneo Moifo.

Moifo, accompanied by her husband Paseka Moifo, alleged in an interview with the Lesotho Times on Monday that Litšoane sexually harassed and assaulted her for “rejecting his sexual advances”.

According to Moifo, the alleged sexual harassment took place on the morning of September 6, just after 5 am, when she went to serve Litšoane his usual morning tea in the bedroom the minister shares with his wife.

Litšoane’s wife, Moifo said, was away on family business when Litšoane allegedly touched her breast, groped her private parts and grabbed her buttocks.

Moifo further alleged that Litšoane, who is agriculture minister in Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s led coalition government, under the banner of the premier’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, also accused her of stealing M600 which Litšoane allegedly said he had kept in a brown envelope in the master bedroom.

Speaking to this paper on Tuesday afternoon, Litšoane said the “unfounded” allegations had put him in a position where “I will never again address media on this issue”.

“I will not be issuing any more comments on this matter. Please go ahead and publish what they (the Moifos) have told you,” Litšoane said.

“This issue has been blown totally out of context. I’ve been advised not to respond. We’ve decided that I should not respond to it anymore.”

“Media houses who have reported on this thing have let me down by reporting it in a bad way. I do not want to implicate myself further.”

However, Litšoane’s stance surprised this paper because when contacted for comment on Tuesday, he had asked this reporter to visit his office yesterday (Wednesday) at 9 am “so that we can talk face to face”.

“You interviewed those people face to face and I believe you should afford a similar courtesy by not interviewing me over the phone,” Litšoane said.

According to the agriculture minister on Tuesday the allegations had caused so much confusion adding “I will only talk once I’ve cleared my head”.

“Tomorrow when you come, you will talk to my driver who is familiar with the situation. They will tell you all they know,” Litšoane said.

But when this reporter arrived at the minister’s office yesterday morning, she was told by the minister’s private secretary that he had gone to the State House where the premier was holding a cabinet meeting.

It was only at 3pm yesterday that the reporter was able to speak to the minister again on his mobile phone.



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