MFP infighting spills into court

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MFP leader Vincent Moeketse Malebo
MFP leader Vincent Moeketse Malebo

Tefo Tefo

A lawyer representing 11 former members of the Marematlou Freedom Party (MFP) National Executive Committee (NEC), on Monday urged the High Court to rule the party’s current committee unconstitutional.

Advocate Lerato Mokheseng made the plea when motivating an application by the ousted committee before Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi.

According to papers filed before the court on 2 February this year, the applicants  want the court to “interdict and restrain” the current committee “from performing the duties of the office of the National Executive Committee pending finalisation of the proceedings herein”.

They also want the committee to be “set aside and declared null and void ab initio.””

The applicants further want the court to declare them the lawful committee of the party.

The applicants are Gerard Lintša Mofube, David Ntšihlele, ‘Malempe Mphana, Thandekile Nzunqu, ‘Makeletso Phafuri, Benjamin Tumahole, ‘Mathabang Lekoala, ‘Mantoetse Mohale, Alfred Khomonngoe, Dingani Thulo and Stephen Mokiba.

MFP leader Vincent Moeketse Malebo, the new NEC, Nedbank Lesotho, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Attorney General have been cited as first to sixth respondent, respectively.

Advocate Mokheseng told the court the conference which elected the committee on 29 January this year was not mandated to do so.

“It was supposed to be an emergency conference where preparations were going to be made for a general conference.

“At the very emergency conference, there was supposed to be a credentials committee composed of three members and that committee was supposed to be appointed by the National Executive Committee.

“Instead, the second respondent (Mr Malebo) introduced two people who were not known to the applicants to be members of the credentials committee.

“That was an irregularity,” Advocate Mokheseng said.

However, the respondents’ lawyer, King’s Counsel (KC) Molefi Ntlhoki was quick to shoot down this argument.

“In their own papers, they make a concession that the matter was settled.

“It means the matter was raised but resolved, so it is a non-issue now,” KC Ntlhoki said and urged the court to dismiss the application.

Justice Monaphathi reserved judgment in the matter.

The MFP and Lesotho People’s Congress (LPC) were indefinitely suspended from IEC activities on 7 April this year until the two governing parties resolve their internal disputes.

The MFP, LPC, Democratic Congress, Lesotho Congress for Democracy, Popular Front for Democracy, Basotho Congress Party, and National Independent Party formed a coalition government after the 28 February 2015 snap elections had resulted in a hung parliament.

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