'Maseribane vows to punish party rebels

MASERU — Basotho National Party (BNP) leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, says the party will punish leaders of a faction that claims to have formed an alliance with the Basotho Democratic National Party (BDNP).

‘Maseribane told a press conference on Monday that the faction calling itself Nationalists of Goodwill has violated the BNP’s constitution by forming an alliance with the BDNP.

The BDNP is a splinter party of the BNP formed by Thabang Nyeoe in November 2006 when he and other members fell out with the then leader Metsing Lekhanya.

The Nationalists of Goodwill faction is led by Moeketsi Hanyane, a former BNP youth league leader who has been fighting the BNP leadership for the past three years.

Other prominent members of the faction include MP Seabata Thabisi, Motsie Ralile, ‘Mapalesa Mosetse and Alexis Moholi.

Last week the faction said they will support the BDNP in the 2012 general election after losing confidence in ‘Maseribane’s leadership.

‘Maseribane’s leadership is illegitimate, the faction said.

But ‘Maseribane has come out guns blazing, accusing the faction of violating the party’s constitution.

“The act itself amounts to a violation of the BNP constitution and we have to think of the direction to take in order to protect the party against those who attempt to cripple it,” ‘Maseribane said.

He said the faction had no right to form a political alliance with any party.

“Who are they? In what capacity have they formed this alliance with the BDNP? They are neither a political organisation nor do they lead one.

“It’s unheard of that mere individuals would claim to have formed an alliance with an organisation. Those people are just mere members of the BNP,” ‘Maseribane charged.

He said although some of the faction members hold positions in constituencies they cannot form an alliance with any political party because they are not a legally registered entity.

“This is an unequal and incompatible alliance: like a mosquito claiming to be married to an elephant,” ‘Maseribane said.

‘Maseribane said he was disappointed that the alliance had come at a time when Hanyane and his fellow renegades had been allowed back into the party.

“One would expect that after being forgiven, they would contribute to the development of the BNP, not deliberately connive to join other parties using our good name.”

The BNP, ‘Maseribane added, will now warn party members of the faction’s attempt to “steal their votes”.

On Tuesday Hanyane said he was not worried by ‘Maseribane’s threats.

“I, Hanyane, have the freedom of association and to make decisions. As an individual with the right to vote and be voted for, I made a choice to be a member of this faction,” Hanyane said.

He said ‘Maseribane had no power to discipline them.

“Only a person whose authority I recognise can take disciplinary measures against me. If I don’t recognise such an individual, then they have no authority over me,” Hanyane said.

“Because we’re not happy with the BNP leader elected by the March conference, we made a conscious choice to associate
with people whom we share similar principles.”

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