Phakiso Molise responds to last week’s article


(We publish his response verbatim)


Maseru 100


Dear Editor,

It is with great disappointment and dismay that I notice an article on different social media forums emanating from your newspaper published on the 2nd of July, 2021. I noted further that the first page of your newspaper bears the headline “LCA MEMBER EXPOSED” and thereat you attached my picture without my consent.

In addition, the second page thereof reads “Skeletons tumble out of the LCA closet. Phakiso Molise accused of theft”. Based on what I have stated above, I have the following to say against you as the Editor and your newspaper:

  • I find it highly inappropriate to put a picture of myself and say “an LCA member is exposed”, the impression left by this is that I had been hiding      something for which I am being exposed. I find these allegations malicious and unfounded and only meant to attack my character as a person. It is totally      wrong to paint these baseless allegations against my persona without any proof to substantiating such strong allegations. The implication from your     statements is that I have been maliciously hiding something, as the LCA
    Member and I am finally exposed thereof.
  • Secondly, “skeletons tumble out of LCA closet” gives your readers the impression that there is something which the LCA has been hiding that would be harmful if revealed or known. I am not speaking in my capacity as a Board   Member and I cannot speak for the LCA, however, you have failed to perform        due diligence by making allegations which you know if they were proved otherwise would tarnish my name and you made it worse by bringing my picture up in that unfortunate article. The article has vehemently failed to say
    what is this wrongful doing, that you can prove that I have been hiding it, even     as a person?
  • The article further states that “Phakiso Molise is accused of theft” but you failed to state the case number or a docket to support such malicious and      baseless allegations against me as a person.
  • Furthermore, you cannot say that it is the LCA that is accusing me because there is no such a thing. As a matter of fact, if you believed it was the LCA you could have approached it. I have read the article and there is nowhere it is stated in the article that the LCA was approached for its comment on the      allegations before you could run the story.
  • The letter I wrote was addressed to the Chairperson only as a matter of procedure to address the Board, solely because Chairperson is indeed just a      Chairperson only to chair meetings and to pass board resolutions. There is nothing that gives him or her any powers over other members of the board,      hence I found no need to reply to the letter that you seem so adamant to rely on. Secondly, and most importantly, the Chairperson was not addressing the      issue at hand, which was the issue of how I do pay back the money. As such,    all I was doing was reporting and accounting as mandated by the LCA      Financial Regulations. I would not want to speak ill of the dead and I would       want to deal with these issues still giving respect to the then Chairperson of the LCA Board. This is more so because she can no longer answer for herself.
  • Lastly, you appear to have been calculative with a motive to defame me or launch a character assassination on me as a person. The time at which you      also run this defaming story leaves so much to be desired. The picture being   painted leaves your newspaper as one that is being used by some quarters to fight personal battles. There is a lot happening at the LCA which is in the       public domain and exactly during these happenings you run such an      unfortunate story against a member of the Board.
  • I urge your newspaper that it is important to also look at essential elements of communication being: source, message, channel, receiver, feedback,     environment, on text, and interference. However, to avoid lecturing you on the things you already know let me confine myself to the sender and the receiver. In a nutshell the sender must have a message and a purpose of the message and to whom is targeted. For the message to have been effective the receiver should be able to interpret the message as intended and must be able to perform something to demonstrate their understanding.
  • Based on this story one is left asking himself as to what was the message of the newspaper, what was the intention for communicating that message, what      did the paper hoped to achieve, what were targeted people supposed to do with         the message? The only conclusion one can make is that the message was      meant for nothing but to defame me through character assassination.

Here is what has been observed from your readers:

  • Some perceive me as an unrehabilitated convict who continues to engage in further criminal activities.
  • While others have labelled me as a thief who stole from the LCA.

In a nutshell, your message in the article has left some serious damage on my character both as a person and in my capacity as a Board member of the LCA. I attach herewith some of the comments and publications in the social media. I also attach proof of EFT which shows that I paid the LCA through my bank account.

I also I attach a proof of payment in the form of receipt from the LCA accounts department which was generated after the money was received. The email thread which is also shared with you shows that the receipt from head of Finance was sent to me, the Chairperson of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the LCA. This leaves no doubt that those responsible at the LCA know very well that the money was indeed paid.

My proposed solution to the character assassination committed by the Public Eye newspaper:

In your next publication I request you to set the record straight by doing the following:

  1. To run another article in your next publication. The first page should contain the words such as “PUBLIC EYE APOLOGIZES TO LCA BOARD MEMBER PHAKISO MOLISE;
  2. Then attach the same picture of the same size as in the previous paper.
  3. The second page should include “Phakiso Molise has not stolen from LCA…has nothing to hide”… The same picture used in the previous issue must go with this story.
  4. Have this letter that I am writing to you and show evidence of payment as attached. The second page should be filled with my reply like your past paper.

Failure to meet the above proposed solution shall leave me with no alternative but to approach my lawyers in order to file a lawsuit against Public Eye for defamation of my character.

With these I wish to remain!

Phakiso Molise

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