Ramathebane released on bail

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By Keiso Mohloboli

MASERU — The Basotho Batho Democratic Party (BBDP) leader Jeremane Ramathebane was yesterday released on M1 000 bail and M50 000 surety following his arrest on Monday.

Ramathebane was arrested at his home in Mohale’s Hoek over suspected fraud and false representation of members of his political party established in December 2006.

The 60-year-old politician appeared in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday after spending two nights in a cell at police headquarters.

Ramathebane is charged alongside his wife ‘Mateboho Ramathebane, 47, who is the BBDP’s secretary general and the party’s treasurer, ‘Matanki Matsoakeletse.

The same bail and surety conditions also apply for the other two accused, who were however, not detained when Ramathebane was locked up on Monday.

The three are expected back in court on April 24.

On leaving the court yesterday, a defiant Ramathebane publicly announced his arrest had nothing to do with the alleged fraud but retribution for spearheading a no-confidence motion in parliament against Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Ramathebane told the huge crowd which had turned up for his court appearance that he was going to be cleared of whatever he was being accused of but warned his supporters and sympathisers to “get ready because this is the start of a political war”.

He however thanked the police for treating him “professionally” while in their custody.
“For instance, they allowed my family to bring me a suit before appearing in

court saying as a Member of Parliament (MP), I need to appear in formal and respectable clothing,” he said amid cheering from the crowd.

Meanwhile, three Democratic Congress MPs namely ‘Marapelang Malefane, ‘Mathabo Shao and Likeleli Tampane Monare, pledged the surety for the accused.

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