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Mapesela forms own party

by Lesotho Times
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Marafaele Mohloboli

MOKHOTLONG legislator Tefo Mapesela, who recently dumped the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC), has formed his own party called the Basotho Patriotic Party (BPP).

News of the formation of the new party was announced this week in parliament by the deputy speaker of parliament, Lebohang Ramohlanka.

Mr Mapesela crossed the floor to the opposition benches immediately after Ms Ramohlanka announced that he had formed a new party and notified the house of his intention to cross from the government side.

He was ushered to the opposition benches by opposition Alliance of Democrats (AD) legislator Sello Mooki while some of the ABC MPs mockingly referred to him as “Umkhonto”, a Nguni word for a spear. Mr Mapesela had initially wanted to call his new party Umkhonto. He had been expected to be in the party alongside former ABC deputy leader Nqosa Mahao and nine others who dumped the ABC a fortnight ago.

However, this was not to be with sources saying Mr Mapesela and Prof Mahao went their separate ways after differing on so many things including the name of their proposed new party. Prof Mahao and his allies subsequently formed the Basotho Action Party (BAP).

Mr Mooki’s actions in ushering Mr Mapesela to the opposition benches prompted speculation that the Bobatsi legislator who dumped the ABC last June would be joining the Mokhotlong legislator in his BPP party.

However, Mr Mooki denied that he had any plans of leaving the AD. He said he was just being “brotherly” by ushering Mr Mapesela to the opposition side.

It is not clear who else is a member of Mr Mapesela’s new party. His mobile phone rang unanswered when this publication called him for comment yesterday.

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