…ABC leader lauds Lehlanya for recruiting more than 46 000 new members for his party
’Marafaele Mohloboli | Khothatso Sehloho
ALL Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, Nkaku Kabi, has hailed Famo gang leader, Sarele Sello, for allegedly recruiting 46 003 “new members” to join the party.
Popularly known as Lehlanya, Mr Sello chose to stick with the ABC when his former boss, the late Mosotho Chakela, defected to the Democratic Congress (DC) in 2020. He is now the second-in-charge of the ABC-aligned Terene faction now led by one Mokata Lirope.
Lehlanya and his Terene faction are ever-present at ABC rallies. Mr Kabi has made no bones about his close association with Lehlanya’s gang and his reliance on it to drum up support for the ABC. Just last month, Mr Kabi visited Lehlanya at his Klerksdorp base and glowingly described the faction as “a government on its own”.
He again sang Lehlanya’s praises during a weekend rally in Thaba-Tseka, this time for helping to recruit new members into the ABC ahead of the 7 October elections.
In a direct address to Lehlanya, Mr Kabi said, “I thank your Terene gang which has immensely supported the ABC”.
“You gave me a report saying there were 46 003 new members. This is a great number which we are truly grateful for.
“I have appealed to my fellow politicians to help bring Famo artistes together so that their music can be recognised as a talent and not a tool for fuelling conflicts. While it’s not clear whether politicians have heeded my call, church leaders have however bought into it. So, you shouldn’t be surprised when one day I call you (Famo gangs) to the negotiating table to talk and fix things,” Mr Kabi said.
Thaba-Tseka district is home to popular business mogul, Sam Matekane, who launched his Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party in March this year. Mr Matekane will stand in his native Mantsónyane constituency which is currently represented by the ABC’s Letsitsi Mokoma, who is seeking re-election.
If the huge crowds that have followed Mr Matekane and the popularity of his philanthropic works are anything to go by, then it will not be easy for the ABC or any other party to win constituencies in the district.
Mr Kabi alluded to this in his address when he urged the crowd of about 2500 not to be tempted into ditching an established party like the ABC to join any of the newly formed parties.
“You have a choice to make regarding which party to vote for. You need to make a wise and informed choice. It is important that you are not influenced by simple things like who visited you during the election campaign but rather what a party offers in its manifesto,” Mr Kabi said.
He urged the electorate to rally behind Mr Mokoma as he had done so much to develop his constituency, including building two classroom blocks at Ha Long Primary School in the area.
He said the ABC government had built bridges and brought electricity and water services to several parts of the district.
He said if elected, his government would continue looking after the welfare of disabled people by giving them monthly stipends.
While there was a sizeable attendance at the rally, including Lehlanya and his Terene entourage, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro was again conspicuous by his absence.
Mr Kabi recently announced that he and the premier had buried the hatchet, amid the vicious factionalism threatening the party’s prospects in the October elections.
Mr Kabi broke the news of their reconciliation while addressing ABC supporters last month in Hlotse, Leribe. He said as a demonstration of their newly-minted unity, the erstwhile foes would henceforth be addressing joint rallies. However, Dr Majoro has not attended any of the rallies alongside Mr Kabi.
This has not gone down well with Lehlanya. Earlier this month at an ABC rally in Mohale’s Hoek, he threatened to “deal” with the prime minister for failing to attend ABC rallies.
Taking to the podium at the Mohale’s Hoek rally, Lehlanya bellowed, “Where is the prime minister?”
“This is his last opportunity, and I swear I will deal with him. I’m serious. We aren’t here to play,” Lehlanya said. He however, did not say what action he would take against Dr Majoro. Nevertheless, threats by Famo gangsters should be taken seriously even by no less an authority as Dr Majoro. The Famo gangs have been implicated in killings countrywide. The late Famo gang leader, Mosotho Chakela, was implicated in the 14 June 2017 murder of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelo. Mr Thabane and his current wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, had been charged with the murder but the charges were this week withdrawn due the alleged unavailability of some key witnesses.