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Minister assaults ‘old friend’ over ‘insults’

by Lesotho Times
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Billy Ntaote

MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Office, Pitso Maisa on Sunday assaulted a Motimposo resident, Seabata Motaung, for entering his home “very drunk and without permission” and also “embarrassing” him in front of his guests.

Mr Motaung on Tuesday told the Lesotho Times he had always frequented Mr Maisa’s residence before he became Motimposo Member of Parliament (MP) in 2007 and minister early this year, and considered him a friend, hence Sunday’s visit.

“What happened to me on Sunday morning was very unfortunate because Ntate Maisa assaulted me with a broomstick several times for no apparent reason,” Mr Motaung said.

“He suddenly became angry when I informed him that I was going to a fun-walk that had been organised by Tšenolo FM. As you know, this radio station is owned by a fellow Motimposo resident, Mohau Kobile, so I decided to attend it and support him.

“But Ntate Maisa hates Ntate Kobile with a passion, hence his violent reaction when I mentioned the fun-walk”

According to Mr Motaung, he was “a bit drunk” and carrying a container full of traditional beer when he decided to visit the minister’s home at around 8am.

“When I got to his house, I found the minister with his friends; they were drinking beer and I was holding my own traditional brew, and I was a bit drunk.

“He became angry when I told his friends that we had been buddies for a long time, and that I considered him my homeboy because we both come from Motimposo. I told them that we even worked on soil-conservation community projects (lifato-fato) together back in the old days before he became a minister and that’s when he got really agitated and assaulted me with a broomstick,” Mr Motaung said.

Mr Motaung added that he had to run for dear life, with the minister in pursuit.

“I ran out of the yard, with the minister pursuing me, until I was out of the yard. His friends just stood there as I ran for dear life. I then went to Tšenolo FM in Ha Mabote following the assault, and where the fun-walk was starting but was advised to report the assault to the police.

“I then went to Mabote Police Station and was issued with a medical form which I had to take to hospital so it could be filled by a doctor stating the extent of my injuries due to the minister’s attack.

“But after leaving the police station, I was advised by a friend to return to the minister’s house to discuss the issue since he had assisted me to get a job in the Ministry of Forestry. The fear was he would get me fired, so I had to go back to the minister’s home.”

However, Mr Motaung said upon arrival at Mr Maisa’s home, he was attacked again by “several people” who had visited the minister.

“They took turns to assault me as the minister watched. They were punching me in the stomach, ribs and chocking me,” said Mr Motaung.

“They also tore the medical form I was holding after realising that I had gone to the police to report the assault.

“Because I still feared I would be dismissed from my job, I did not pursue the case with the police, but I will never visit Ntate Maisa again because of the way I was treated. Right now, I am in pain, but because I am a nobody, I can’t pursue the case any further.”

Contacted for comment, Mr Maisa said he “snapped” and hit Mr Motaung due to his insolence.

“I snapped and hit him with a broomstick. Kobile has not only insulted me on his radio station, he has also insulted the Prime Minister (Thomas Thabane), who is the leader of my party, the All Basotho Convention,on countless occasions, and this village drunkard had the audacity to come to my home and tell me that he was going to his radio station for a fun-walk,” Mr Maisa said.

“In addition to this, the man goes on to disrespect me in front of my friends and also insults us for no reason at all.

“I had previously told him that since he frequented Kobile’s house, and I don’t see eye to eye with Kobile, then he should stop coming to my home, but he would not listen.”

The minister described his relationship with Mr Motaung as “always having been warm”.

“I even secured him a job at the Agricultural College, which shows the relationship I used to have with the man,” he added.

“But it appeared he was coming to my house to spy on me and feed the information to Kobile so he could use it to insult me on his radio. So Motaung has been acting as my enemy’s informant, hence my reaction on Sunday. Considering everything I had done for him, his actions were the worst form of betrayal.”

However, Mr Masia denied Mr Motaung’s claims that he was further assaulted when he returned to the minister’s house.

“He tore the medical form on his own, when we reasoned with him. So for him to say he was beaten again is false as the people he found me with when he returned reminded him that I had never done anything bad to him but only assisted him. I did not even utter a word as he ended up begging me not to influence his dismissal,” Mr Maisa said.

Meanwhile, there was no immediate comment from Mr Kobile over the incident.

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