MASERU — Police have arrested two more people in connection with the political violence that rocked Thetsane Industrial Area last month.
The violence erupted at a campaign rally organised by Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
The two suspects, who were allegedly clad in All Basotho Convention (ABC) party colours during the clashes with Democratic Congress (DC) supporters, are expected to appear before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court today to answer charges of malicious damage to property.
The arrest brings to three the number of people who have been picked up following the clashes.
Police spokesperson Masupha Masupha told the Lesotho Times yesterday that the men were never asked about their political affiliation because “police are not interested in people’s political affiliation.”
“I think they will appear before court tomorrow to answer their charges,” Masupha said last night.
Asked why the police had targeted those who wore opposition party colours and turned a blind eye to DC security marshals who allegedly assaulted them with sticks, Masupha said complainants should go to the Thetsane police post to report assault and fill medical forms so that police can investigate their cases.
“If nobody reports assault there will be no case opened even if we saw pictures in newspapers where people were assaulting others,” he said.
“Police don’t act on unreported cases. There has to be a complainant.”
ABC leader, Thomas Thabane, however said he could not understand why the police waited for two weeks before arresting the suspects.
“How do we know these people were wearing ABC T-shirts on that day?” Thabane asked, adding: “Do we have any evidence that they took part in the fighting?”
Thabane said anybody could have worn the ABC party colours and gone to Thetsane to heckle Mosisili but that is not evidence that they threw stones at his convoy or damaged any car.
He said it is common knowledge that Mosisili was an “unwanted guest” in the industrial area after he scoffed at workers when they marched to his office last year requesting that he address their grievances.
“Mosisili provoked these people when he visited them,” Thabane said. “He knows that people in Maseru do not like him anymore.”
The selective arrest of people who are known to be members of the ABC was an attempt to portray his party in bad light, Thabane charged.
“I am also not surprised that he was booed. He brought this upon himself,” he said.
“Mosisili should be careful lest he tyrannically abuses instruments of state by causing the police to target people from other parties when members of his own party could have committed more serious crimes.”