...as Mahao’s ABC nomination controversy rages

Defiant Koro-Koro ready to go to court


MAFETENG – The suspended Koro-Koro constituency committee of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) is prepared to face the harshest of consequences as it continues to defy the NEC’s decision to reject Professor Nqosa Mahao’s bid for the party’s deputy leadership. The committee has resolved to take the party’s national executive committee to court to force it to reverse its decision and is planning to have its matter heard in the High Court “as soon as it is practically possible”, the committees chairperson Phohleli Phohleli has said.

Speaking to Public Eye yesterday Phohleli, leader of the group, said going to court was the last resort. “If the court says the NEC suspended us lawfully, we will accept the verdict and we also hope and wish that the NEC will also accept the outcome irrespective of whether it is positive or negative on their part,” he said. When contacted yesterday, the party’s Secretary General, Samonyane Ntsekele, said he did not want to comment on “these issues” but warned that members of ABC who take the party to court are assumed to have expelled themselves from the party.

Ntsekele said: “The constitution is very clear on this issue. When you take this party to court you are expelling yourself. That is all I can say.” Phohleli also expressed his disappointment with the NEC for insisting that the National University of Lesotho (NUL)’s Vice Chancellor Professor Mahao, is ineligible to contest for the post of ABC deputy leader in the upcoming elective conference, set down for February 1, to 2 this year.

Phohleli accused the NEC of executing political plots to purge anyone who supports Mahao’s ascension to the top echelons of the party. Mahao was endorsed by Koro-Koro in November last year to run for the party’s deputy leadership but his nomination was rejected by the NEC which ruled Mahao was ineligible to contest for a position in the NEC – the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences.

“At its sitting on December 19, the NEC decided not to accept the nomination of Professor Nqosa Mahao, member of the Koro-Koro constituency, to contest in the upcoming national elective conference,” Ntsekele wrote. He said this decision was consistent with sections C4. (b), 6 (m) and C1. (b) of the party’s constitution. This decision irked the Koro-Koro committee which responded by writing a damning two-page letter on December 27 to the NEC stating they are categorically against the NEC's decision to reject Mahao’s nomination.

They listed seven grounds on which they rejected the NEC’s resolution, among them, was that they were never consulted by the NEC before it reached its conclusion. They also submitted that Mahao was singled out from the rest of nominees and treated unfairly by scrutinising his nomination and leaving out the rest of the nominations.

The Koro-Koro committee also accused some members of the NEC of seeking to further their own political careers by blocking Mahao’s rise and said the party has not convincingly shown why Mahao’s nomination should not be considered. This committee then gave the NEC an ultimatum to reverse its decision in writing within seven days and declare Mahao as a contestant for the deputy leader position, or alternatively, call a special conference to ratify or reject the NEC’s decision to exclude Mahao.Matters came to the head when Koro-Koro was awaiting the NEC to respond to their petition.

Instead the committee was slapped with a letter notifying them of the committee’s suspension with immediate effect on Monday this week. The letter was written by Ntsekele and addressed to the constituency and branches’ committees. The committee was accused of renegading against the NEC’s resolution to reject Mahao’s nomination. It was also accused of, among others, insubordination in that it unilaterally held a press conference in Maseru on December 28 without the prior consent of the NEC


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