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Top lawyer fights to represent ABC

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — Prominent lawyer, Haae Phoofolo, was on Sunday elected to be the All Basotho Convention (ABC)’s candidate for the Maseru Central constituency No 32 in next year’s election.

But he says he is not celebrating just as yet because there are efforts by the constituency committee to sabotage his candidature.

The constituency committee wants to charge him for allegedly insulting Futho Hoohlo, the constituency committee chairman, at the ABC’s special conference on August 27.

His disciplinary hearing was supposed to proceed on December 28 but was postponed following intervention by the High Court yesterday.

This was after Phoofolo who is the chairman of the Katlehong branch, had brought an urgent application seeking to block the party from instituting disciplinary action against him for the alleged fracas he had with Hoohlo in August.

He wants the respondents to give reasons why the whole process of disciplinary hearing initiated by the Constituency Committee No. 32 Maseru Central constituency cannot be declared null and void.

He also wants the respondents to show cause why the disciplinary action against him should not be permanently stayed.

The other respondents are ABC secretary-general for the Constituency Committee, Futho Hoohlo, the Constituency Committee, the Executive Committee of the ABC, ABC party, secretary of Katlehong branch committee of No. 32, and chairman of the disciplinary committee.

Phoofolo believes that the charges against him have been “well timed” to sabotage his bid to represent the constituency in next’s year’s election.

He told the Lesotho Times yesterday that there were efforts to expel him from the party.

“As of now I am the people’s candidate but there are efforts to block that,” Phoofolo said last night.

In his court papers Phoofolo said he could not understand why he was now being charged for an incident that happened four months ago.

“I submit that the whole exercise of some disciplinary hearing being taken against me is intended to marginalise me so that I would not be able to stand for elections,”
Phoofolo said.

“This is evidenced by all manner of accusations and false allegations against me, by amongst other people my direct competitors for candidature of my constituency
as well as some high ranking party members like the conferences’ chairman who for two consecutive Sundays recently mounted a smear campaign to discredit me
for no just cause by uttering innuendos of and about me at the ABC public gatherings.”

He said Hoohlo and his committee had made “false and defamatory” statements about the party’s national executive.

Hoohlo and his committee, Phoofolo alleges, “interfered with and/or obstructed the gathering of the leader of the ABC party which was held on the 27th November 2011”.

“Further the executive committee was informed of recommendation made for my expulsion from the party because I seem to be intent on obstructing the business of the party.

“These statements and conclusions thereto are false and baseless, no wonder they are made behind my back and true to form and custom no reference is made to me and no regard is had to my legal right to answer to any allegations about me before decision adverse to my interests are taken.”

Phoofolo also wants the appointment of Silas Monyatsi, Lesago Makgothi and Sekhonyana Bereng to the Maseru Central Constituency No. 32 committee declared null and void.

Monyatsi was elected secretary, Makgothi became treasurer while Bereng was elected a member of the committee. He said the three have not been elected in line with the party’s constitution.

The case will be heard on January 9.

Phoofolo told the Lesotho Times that he was prepared to fight to the “bitter end”.

“This is an injustice and I will not stand by and watch people violating my rights.”

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