MASERU- “I am neither right nor left. I take every situation as it comes.”
This is the self description of Mothetjoa Metsing, the new LCD secretary general.
He defeated Ralechate ‘Mokose (minister of forestry and land reclamation) by 999 to 773.
He prefers to call himself a moderate.
That might be true considering that he refuses to use the word ‘faction’ to describe division in the ruling party.
“There are differences in perspectives. People have different views on issues. I would resist calling them factions,” he said when asked how he would deal with the alleged factionalism in the party.
Born only 42 years ago Metsing is aware of the challenges that he will face to head the party’s old guard and young turkeys into one direction.
He is also acutely aware of how hard it will be to match the record set by his predecessor, Mpho Malie.
“I am aware of the challenges ahead. I know that it won’t be business as usual.”
“The country has huge challenges that we have to tackle. We need to start immediately the process of implementing the main programmes that we have as a party.”
Metsing said African politicians are good at coming up with programmes but they lack the ability to implement them.
“As a party we will push more on implementation. That will be the focus because we have been weak on that front.”
It’s a frank admission coming from a ruling party’s secretary general but perhaps that is what the problems require.
“We have to start working harder to deal with the Aids pandemic and poverty. We have to push harder on economic development. Peace and stability will remain one of our core responsibilities.”
He calls himself a social democrat.
“I don’t believe that extreme capitalism works because it creates no space for the poor. I don’t believe that socialism works either.”
But who is this man who came from nowhere to win one of the most influential positions in the LCD?
Has he not been thrust at the deep-end?
Metsing likes to think he has accumulated enough experience.
He has a history of trade unionism that he accrued when he was working in the Vaal Reefs Gold Mines in South Africa during the late 80s and late 90s.
“This was the time when my political career started taking shape.”
He joined the LCD at its formation in 1997.
Before that he was also involved with the BCP.
Metsing was the deputy secretary general of the LCD youth league in 2000. He became the secretary general in 2002.
He was elected to become the MP for Mahobong Constituency in 2002.
But Metsing has had some setbacks too.
He doesn’t deny that he has stumbled in the past.
For instance during the 2006 youth election, Metsing fell not once but twice.
“There were problems because some people wanted me to contest for the secretary general position while others wanted me to become the president. In the end I failed to win any of those positions but I kept my vision.”
In 2007 he was re-elected as MP for Mahobong.
He is interested in farming and animal husbandry, reading as well as listening to spiritual music.
He holds a Masters degree in Business Management (2007).