MASERU — She has claimed that he beat her up and police are investigating him.
He has denied that he ever beat her up and instead says the police are investigating her for theft.
Now she says his allegations that she is a thief are lies meant to cover up the fact that he beat her up.
So goes the counter accusations that have been flying back and forth between former labour minister Sello Machakela and his lover ‘Mamontšeng Manetsa.
The dirty linen is now being washed in public.
First was the story in the Lesotho Times last week that Machakela, an MP and married man with four children, was under police investigation for allegedly assaulting Manetsa, a woman he admits was his lover for more than a year.
A few days later Machakela rebutted the allegations and told the Sunday Express that she had made the allegations because he had refused to give her some money.
Manetsa is a thief who is currently being investigated for stealing his money and cell phone, Machakela said in an interview with the Sunday paper.
Irked by Machakela’s allegations Manetsa came to the Lesotho Times offices on Monday to tell her side of the story.
Manetsa said Machakela had beaten her up on several occasions.
She said she was aware that she was not the MP’s only girlfriend and most of the times their fights started after she confronted him about his “other women”.
The Lesotho Times could not verify Manetsa’s allegations.
In the Sunday Express interview Machakela, who is also the deputy chairman of the All Basotho Convention party, said Manetsa was his only girlfriend.
“I never stole a cent from ntate Machakela. He is lying,” said a charged Manetsa during the interview.
“He started lying when he learnt that I had reported him to the police for beating me. Instead he is the one who wanted to give me money so that I could drop the charges.”
She said the latest beating happened after she had found him in compromising circumstances with another woman at his home in Naleli on December 21.
“I had just gone there to pay him a visit. When I arrived the main door was not closed. I just walked in without knocking. The bedroom door was half open so they were just in full view when I entered. When they grabbed their clothes it was too late. I was shocked,” Manetsa said.
“We engaged in an argument and then he hit me with his head on my right eye. I fell down, unconscious. When I woke from the blackout I saw him walking towards me from his red car. He started hammering me with his gun. He showed me the gun and said, “This is not your mother”.
“I could not see clearly then. My eyes had swollen up. But he let me go. I called his neighbour’s child to buy me airtime so I could call my sister to tell her that he had beaten me. I also called one of his colleagues in parliament.”
She said she started bleeding through the nose.
She said after realising that the bleeding was severe Machakela took her to the doctor.
She said Machakela spent most of that afternoon with her.
He went home later but came back when she told her that the bleeding would not stop, Manetsa said.
He stayed until the morning hours of the next day and gave her M200 for a check-up.
“I used to respect him. He used to support me. He deposited a lot of money into my bank account. He gave me the money to renovate my home. He used to do good things for me,” she said.
“I respected him so much. But he suddenly changed and started abusing me. Sometimes he would go to my house and break the window panes. It hurt me. I sometimes thought he treated me badly because he knew I did not have a mother and father,” said an emotional Manetsa, struggling to hold tears that had welled in her eyes.
When contacted for comment on Tuesday Machakela said: “Do you know that I have not raped anyone”.
He then said he would only be prepared to talk yesterday.
But yesterday his phone was not available.
On Tuesday Manetsa tried to withdraw the interview. It was not clear why she wanted the interview withdrawn.