MASERU — There was drama at a funeral in Koalabata on Saturday when a Democratic Congress (DC) youth leader alleged that the All Basotho Convention (ABC) was linked to ritual murders.
DC’s Maseru constituency youth chairperson, Ramahooana Matlosa, told mourners that Lehlohonolo Scott, the man accused of the ritual murder of Kamohelo Mohata, is an ABC member.
Lehlohonolo Scott and his mother ‘Malehlohonolo are alleged to have murdered Mohata in June.
The fact that his body was mutilated has stoked fears that he could have been murdered for muti purposes.
Mother and son are also suspects in another murder that happened in Koalabata in January.
The body of the victim, Moholobela Seetsa, a teenager, was found dismembered in a donga in the village days after he disappeared.
The two are currently awaiting trial in police custody. Matlosa sparked outrage from the mourners when he said Scott was an ABC member.
He also said Mohata, the young man they were burying, was a DC member.
That seemed to suggest that an ABC member had killed a DC member.
Matlosa was speaking on behalf of the DC youth league.
As soon as he made that statement the microphone was snatched away from him amid howls of protests from the mourners.
The statement seems to have angered not only the ABC supporters but almost everyone at the funeral. The angry mourners demanded that he leaves the podium.
Makhetha Mohata, the father to the deceased, then stood up and called for order.
He said the family should be respected during its time of mourning.
Now the ABC youth league has come out guns blazing, demanding an explanation from the DC.
ABC youth league president, Libe Moremoholo, said the DC should explain whether or not Ramahooana (Matlosa) made the statements in his personal capacity or “on behalf of the DC leadership”.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Moremoholo said the allegations had left a stain on the party’s image.
He threatened that they would sue the DC under the Penal Code 2010 “for seditious or terrorist statements”.
“We appeal to the DC to explain whether Ramahooana was speaking on its behalf and issue an apology.
“If they say Ramahooana (Matlosa) said those things on his own, we will demand that he apologise,” Moremoholo said.
“If nothing is forthcoming from the DC and we don’t get an apology, we will influence the leadership of the ABC to take legal measures against the DC.”
Moremoholo added that he was mostly irked by the fact that Saturday was not the first time that Ramahooana had linked Scott to the ABC.
“He made similar allegations on one of the local radio stations and the presenter quickly called him to order, telling him to stop making malicious allegations unless he had evidence to support his claims,” Moremoholo said.
Moremoholo also denied that Scott was a member of the ABC, pointing out that he had not renewed his membership for 2012.
“The ABC constitution requires that for one to be considered a member of the party, (one has to renew his membership). Scott had not updated his membership for 2012,” Moremoholo said.
“Therefore, he was not a member of the ABC when he (allegedly) committed those acts.”
Moremoholo said donning a particular political party’s regalia, associating with it and attending its rallies “does not make one an official member”.
“Again, from a legal perspective, Scott is not a member of the ABC because his name does not reflect in our membership books. Ramahooana should produce Scott’s membership card,” Moremoholo said.
“The ABC’s Berea constituency, where Scott lives, has also testified that Scott is not a member of the ABC. But even if he was, should the ABC be associated with his actions?”
The ABC youth leader said DC leader Pakalitha Mosisili, who was also at the funeral, was “ashamed and disappointed by Ramahooana’s allegations”.
Yesterday DC’s secretary general Ralechate ’Mokose distanced the party from Matlosa’s statements saying the DC should not be associated with them as “we never sent him to say those things”.
“I must make it blatantly clear to you that never did we at any given point send Ramahooana to say such things,” ‘Mokose said.
“When an individual says bad things or is caught stealing, why should his party be blamed and made to carry the cross for his transgressions?”
‘Mokose said the DC’s standpoint was that “we don’t accept people pointing fingers and accusing one another”.
However, ‘Mokose was quick to add that as its member, the DC had a right to discipline Matlosa.
“As our member, we have a responsibility to call him to order and discipline him for shaming the DC,” ‘Mokose said.
How Matlosa ended up speaking on behalf of the DC youth league, ‘Mokose said, defied logic because the expectation was that Mosala Mojakisane, the party’s youth wing president, would address mourners.
He also confirmed Moremoholo’s assertion that Mosisili was disappointed by Matlosa’s statement.
“The leader of the DC was livid. Ntate Mosisili was not in the least happy with what happened. It made him angry, he was ashamed,” ‘Mokose said.
‘Mokose further appealed to leaders of political parties “across the board” to “rein in their youths and teach them about acceptance and tolerance”.
Matlosa declined to comment on grounds that he had not yet seen the statement from the ABC.