Youths protest over Ramatšella

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ABC Youth Leagues Spokesperson Mphonyane Lebesa

Billy Ntaote

OPPOSITION youth leaders have vowed to stage a protest march against Prime Minister Mosisili for failing to take action against political activist, Bokang Ramatšella who they accuse of insulting King Letsie III during a radio programme.

According to the youth leagues of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), Alliance of Democrats (AD), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL), Mr Ramatšella made disparaging remarks about His Majesty during a live local radio station programme between 8pm and midnight on 27 January.

Last week, the BNP’s Konosoang Bereng said: “We have listened with shock and disappointment at the derogatory statement made by a criminal by the name of Bokang Ramatšella on radio against His Majesty the King. It is surprising that when the King performs his duties, he is insulted by this criminal.”

They alleged that Mr Ramatšella said: “To be ruled in Matsieng is the same as being ruled by Satan.”

The youths then gave Dr Mosisili a seven-day ultimatum to take punitive action against Mr Ramatšella which has since expired without any action on the part of the premier.

Yesterday, AD Youth League Secretary, Letuka Chofotsa told a press conference that they would soon announce a date for a protest march against Dr Mosisili after requesting a permit from the police.

“We continue to search for Mr Ramatšella and we are still committed to our vow to arrest him,” Mr Chofotsa said, adding, “We have now secured a rope for that purpose and we are ready to take him to the police for his crime of insulting His Majesty”.

“We are inviting all sectors of the society from the college of chiefs, trade unions, transport associations, chambers of commerce and industry, students unions, all faith based organisations and associations of the security agencies to join our march seeking the protection of the King,” he added.

AD Youth League PresidentThuso Litjobo said the opposition was “on a war path and we only have our voices while our enemies have weapons”.

Mr Litjobo said he was shocked that the government remained mum about their concerns following Mr Ramatšella’s statements.

“If the government is not dismissing this claims we will take it that Mr Ramatšella made the derogatory statements under the instruction of government,” Mr Litjobo said.

ABC Youth League Spokesperson, Mphonyane Lebesa said Mr Ramatšella was unruly as “he first insulted our leaders who are in exile, then insulted his own leader, Molahlehi Letlotlo who is Social Development Minister”.

“He further insulted the US Ambassador to Lesotho and now he has insulted the King. He was angry over what the King told the SADC Oversight Committee and it appears that he could be sharing the sentiments of this minority government,” Mr Lebesa said.

The BNP Spokesperson, Machesetsa Mofomobe said they almost apprehended Mr Ramatšella in Ha Thetsane in Maseru.

“Our campaign shall continue and next time he won’t be able to escape us and we shall deliver him to the police,” Mr Mofomobe said.

Mr Mofomobe also took a swipe at the principal chiefs for allegedly failing to protect His Majesty, adding, “If you cannot protect the King you should vacate office and let those who can do so do that job,” said Mr Mofomobe.

However, Mr Ramatšella, said allegations that he ever insulted His Majesty were false, adding the opposition were on a mission to score cheap political points by claiming they would arrest him.

“I did not flee from them in Ha Thetsane and in fact they should know that I am on a similar mission of arresting them for disturbing public safety with their actions and statements that incite public violence,” Mr Ramatšella said.

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