’Maseribane’s bid to hang on to power flops



MASERU –  Displeased Basotho National Party (BNP) members who in March asked the High Court to nullify leader Chief Thesele ’Maseribane’s continued stay at the helm of the party have succeeded.

High Court Judge Keketso Moahloli yesterday nullified ’Maseribane’s extended stay beyond March 26 and declared that Machesetsa Mofomobe (BNP deputy leader) assume leadership of the party.

The judge, however, refused to order cancellation of actions and acts taken by ’Maseribane beyond the date (March 26 2021).

The party’s elective conference begins today where a new leader will be elected, but the effect of Justice Moahloli’s judgment is that ’Maseribane will not address the conference, instead Mofomobe will.

Seven party members ’Mota Nkuatsana, Moorosi Moshoeshoe, Emmanuel ’Mako, Lesiamo Molapo, Mochai Mochai, Motobo ’Mabathoana and Michael Mohasi had sought the court’s intervention alleging that ’Maseribane’s continued stay would cause chaos.

They had argued that the party’s March 10, 2021 circular outlining June 12 as the end of ’Maseribane’s tenure despite his time for vacating office being March 2021 was illegal.

They said the National Executive Committee did not follow the procedure outlined in the party’s constitution when it made the circular and asked that it be reviewed, corrected and set aside by the court.

Nkuatsana, who had deposed to an affidavit, argued that the circular ought to have announced that the 10 years’ maximum tenure of office by the leader has reached an end and that the leaders’ responsibilities shall be held and discharged by the deputy leader.

He also bemoaned the fact that the circular lacked names of members of the NEC who are due to present reports on the general affairs of the party and the financial reports at a conference in observance of the shrine 90-day period per BNP’s constitution.

However, judge Moahloli refused to review the circular saying it would cause more harm than good.

“I am of the view that it will do more harm than good to cancel the imminent elective conference at the 11th hour, when I have been told a lot of preparation has been made and money spent,” the judge said, further stating that the complainants did not make a convincing case for cancellation of the conference, even so, the parties will ventilate their grievances.

On ’Maseribane’s contention that his leadership only ends in June not March as alleged, the judge says the former leader has provided contradictory statements to the court.

“It is not possible to get a coherent, reliable, alternative version of events out of the 3rd respondent’s self-contradictory testimony. If his second term runs from June 2015 as he has attested, then it means that his second five-year term expired in June 2020. If his term ended in March 2017 as he avers, then his second term only ends sometime in March 2022 and not in June 2021 as he attests many times elsewhere in the affidavit,” reads the judgment in part.

The judgment further states that ’Maseribane did not make an attempt to correct the contradictions through supplementary affidavits, neither were his lawyer’s heads of argument covering the aspect as well at the hearing of case.

“Since these unexplained incoherencies and contradictions go to the very root of the disagreement between parties, the court is left with no option but to accept applicant’s version as the correct one.”


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