LERIBE — Prime Minister’s Thomas Thabane’s crime eradication plan is in pursuit of “selective justice” as it focuses on small-time thieves “while hardcore criminals are left to have free reign”, said main opposition Democratic Congress (DC) deputy leader Monyane Moleleki.
“A person who has stolen just three cows is supposed to be killed or jailed but for a person who stole thirty taxis, nothing is said about them,” Moleleki said.
“Are they not thieves also?” Moleleki asked.
While addressing a DC rally in the Likhetlane constituency in Leribe on Sunday, Moleleki said Thabane and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Molobeli Soulo have declared death and jail on thieves adding “but to them thieves are boys with torn gumboots who steal or have stolen a mere three cows”.
Thabane last week announced his hard-line stance on crime, saying he was giving criminals a three-month ultimatum to “clean up your act, go to prison or die”.
In his declaration to combat crime, the premier said in his eyes “a thief is like a dog that should pay with its head”.
Thabane added that he had a plan of action ready and that what was left was for his office, working together with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Molobeli Soulo, to issue instructions to the commissioner of police and assistant police commissioners “on what to do next”.
However, according to Moleleki, Thabane’s scope of crime eradication was biased as there are high-profile criminals involved in stealing cars and taxis but that his (Thabane) focus was not on them.
“There are thieves who steal cars and taxis in this country but Thabane does not even talk about them”, Moleleki said.
“Neither is he saying anything about them being jailed or killed.”
Press secretary to the Prime Minister Thabo Thakalekoala said Thabane and Soulo merely told the truth about the “manner in which criminals should be handled”.
“But Moleleki should learn to listen carefully. Ntate Soulo declared war on criminals in general. He was never specific about livestock or car thieves,” Thakalekoala said.
“So Moleleki must learn to listen not only to what he wants to hear but must listen attentively to what is said.”
He added: “We are not like them. They were not serving justice because people who committed crimes when they were in government were never taken to task.”
“We (the coalition government) take everyone to task who does not abide by the law, without considering or looking into that person’s status or the power they hold”.